Adidas has added a rather wonderful clause to its sponsorship contracts, which protects athletes from being dropped if they come out as LGBTQ+.
This may seem like something small, but many would argue that this is huge, especially from a company like Adidas. The very real fear of losing endorsements and sponsorship deals has kept many athletes in the closet in the past.
While that is definitely changing, it’s nice to see some solid protections from such a big company.
The clause in question reads: “Adidas acknowledges and adheres to the principles of diversity, as this is a central part of the Adidas group philosophy. Therefore Adidas warrants that this agreement will neither be terminated nor modified in case the athlete comes out to the public as a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”
As we all know, it is illegal in Britain to fire somebody because of their sexual orientation or gender sexuality. However, not only do some companies find ways around it, Adidas operates in many countries, including certain states in the US. For people in certain areas, losing your job (or sponsorship in this case) because of who you are is a very real threat.
This move is not surprising from Adidas, though, given that they signed Tom Daley on for their new NEO label just weeks after he came out to the public and they also did a range of rainbow footwear.
There has to be any comment from Tom Daley, but I will update this article if that changes.