Last Sunday, adidas showed solidarity for those protesting the killing of George Floyd and racially-motivated police brutality throughout American history via its social media channels. Now, Quartz has learned that several employees at adidas' North America headquarters in Portland are reportedly intending to stage a walk out on Friday, citing a disparity between the Three Stripes' external messages and the actionable efforts to tackle them being made in-house.
The information was lifted from a note that Julia Bond — a black assistant designer at the company — sent to adidas' North American leadership on Wednesday. Afterward, Bond shared it Quartz. "adidas has shown that there is a high tolerance for racism, even though publicly, they admonish it," writes Bond. "How many times have I gone into HR about a racist incident—only to be met with responses about the inflictors intent versus their impact, thus negating my experience?
“Crossing out the word racism does not negate its reality, rather, it makes you feel comfortable knowing that it’s ‘gone,'” the letter continued. “Unless you are actively working and instilling practices against it, you uphold the very thing you claim to admonish." Bond then urged adidas to issue a public apology for the "racism and discrimination that they have openly enabled and perpetuated across the brand."
The article states that a strike "by an undetermined number of employees will take place tomorrow and will continue until adidas takes action."
A New York Times report from last year stated that less than five percent of employees at adidas' North American headquarters were black. The same article cited sources which claimed three of approximately 340 people in the global vice presidents role — about 1 percent of the total — were black.
Highsnobiety reached out to adidas who told us they have no comment to make at the current time.