Adidas pledges to hire more black and Latino workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Adidas AG, facing pressure from a growing number of its black employees, said it will fill at least 30 per cent of its new positions with black and Latino people.

The Germany-based company also said on Tuesday it will invest USD20 million in its black communities in the United Stated (US) over the next four years. It said it will also invest in university scholarships for black employees.

In the days following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck, Adidas — as well as a slew of other companies — has come out against racism on social media. But some Adidas employees have dismissed its messages as hypocrisy, criticising its record for diversity.

“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism,” said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted in a statement.

“We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organisation and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence black individuals and communities.”

Adidas said that its leaders in North America, Zion Armstrong and Matt O’Toole, have worked closely with its black employees at Adidas and Reebok to identify the actions it will take.

It plans to provide more details and share additional actions at its own hall meetings yesterday in Portland, Oregon and Boston.

The logo of German sporting goods company Adidas at one of the company’s outlets in Berlin. PHOTO: AFP