Racial slurs have also allegedly been thrown around in the Adidas office.
"Two black employees said they had been referred to with a common racist slur by white coworkers, one verbally and one in a text message seen by The Times," the report reveals. "In both instances, the people believed the slur was intended as a joke, which they felt only highlighted the company’s skewed perspective on race."
For the record, the N-word thrown around by non-black people is not and will never be a joke. It's a word you cannot have. It just is what it is and that's that on that. The fact that this has even happened in the Adidas office is way too much. The N-word? Is that where you are with your celebration and inclusion of blackness, Adidas?
Let's also note how unprofessional it is to throw around racial slurs — no matter what race they are said against — in the office at all.
The New York Times also noted the severe lack of diversity in the Adidas offices. More than half of the company's employees are white.
"Fewer than 75 of the nearly 1,700 Adidas employees in Portland identify as black, according to the internal employment figures from last summer. Nearly 78 percent of the employees are white," the newspaper wrote. The newspaper also asserted that the Adidas spokesperson didn't deny these stats during an interview. She did prefer to note that 55 percent of the company’s total employee base in the United States are people of color.
In other words, Adidas will hire black folks as long as not too many of them work at the headquarters where the majority of the top-tier decision-making positions are. We can sell the shoes at a register and maybe even run a store as general manager, but be a decision maker? Only a select few can sit with Adidas, and they better not sit together and make white folks nervous.
Trolls: "bUt KanYe wEsT hAs YEEZY oVer tHerE."
Therein lies the problem. Adidas having these types of severe discrimination problems against black people at its headquarters is already disgusting. To know that the brand still doesn't mind using powerful black people and their fan bases to sell sneakers while it treats its black employees as they described in the New York Times report is just heinous. As the newspaper noted, Kanye West helped revive the Adidas brand in the same way that Rihanna did Puma.
Things look even worse when you consider that Kanye West snatched his Yeezy brand away from Nike because they wouldn't allow him the creative control he deserved. He parted ways and spent the better part of 2014 ranting about how the fashion industry was racist against black creatives. I'm interested in what his response will be to these accusations, although I do not expect much.