Adidas pledges to hire more black and Latino workers

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

The Germany-based company also said Tuesday it will invest $20 million in its black communities in the U.S. 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, criticizing 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,” says Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted in a statement. “We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence black individuals and communities.”

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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 Wednesday in Portland, Oregon and Boston.

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