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adidas
adidas / June 2021

The Power of Love Unites

This year for Pride month, adidas athletes and creatives share with us their stories of teamwork, celebration, inclusion, and love.

Sport and Pride began in the true DIY spirit. Both are rooted in the belief of creating community spaces allowing individuals to flourish. Since the first game played, passionate athletes of all levels keep pushing the limits of what’s possible. Though for the LGBTQ+ community, the DIY spirit originated in challenging times. Following the Stonewall riots, the LGBTQ+ community has been continuously fighting for inclusion, for their rights to love. As we unite and push for change, not only do we build communities, we change the game. For the love of sport and the love of love.

WELCOMING CHANGE

At adidas, we believe in inclusion in all sports, at all levels. We know each time we welcome a rich array of new people in our lives, we grow together, stronger, as a community, as a team. To harness change, we must unite in the name of our common humanity, in the name of love.

For this year’s Pride, we continue our partnership with Athlete Ally and Stonewall to push change further. With yearly donations to Athlete Ally and Stonewall, we help co-create programs aimed to end systemic oppression and drive inclusion in sports across the globe. Building upon those programs, we create spaces, opportunities, and platforms for equal representation empowering the LGTBQ+ community. Through sport, we have the power to change lives.

Pablo with hands on hips

Creating conversations, not ignoring the struggles of some parts of our society and, above all, respecting other people's spaces and thoughts, as long as they don't hurt anyone else! It's easy, simple and practical.

- Pabllo Vittar - Brazilian singer, songwriter, and drag queen - she/her

Aleia with hands in her pockets.

adidas has a worldwide platform and by showing that they care and support and by acknowledging equality is just awesome and shows how their athletes are treated and should be treated; it’s like a family and as for the rest of the world , I’m just ecstatic about the changes that have been made so far and how many more people are supporting the movement.

- Aleia Hobbs - American track and field athlete - she/her

Layshia holding a basketball.

Change so often is sparked through sport. Throughout history, sport has shown us the power athletes can have in moving the world forward. adidas has the power to uplift and invest in marginalized athletes to create lasting, sustainable change.

- Layshia Clarendon - American professional basketball player - he/his, they/them, she/her

THE POWER OF LOVE UNITES

To love is to embrace. To love is to learn. To love is to nourish. “Love Unites” is our way of life. Its importance has no equal because we know love knows no boundaries. Whether it is love for the sport, love for the art, love for culture, or love for ourselves, it is always unconditional. It brings us together, creating bridges intersecting all our communities.

Ali with a soccer ball.

To me, love unites means there is no greater force on our planet that can achieve more than love itself and showing love to others.

- Ali Krieger - American professional soccer player - she/her

Jessamyn weightlifting.

To me, “love unites” means that when we focus on love and not hate or fear, we will always find common ground.

- Jessamyn Stanley - Yoga teacher, writer, and body positivity advocate - she/her

Thebe posing with hands in pockets.

I think Love Unites simply means the ability to love, to transcend all the societal constructs and metaphysical barriers we, as a society, have built around ourselves and other people - that’s the power of love, it knows no bounds.

- Thebe Magugu - South African designer - he/him

SUPPORTING YOUR TEAM

We are all allies inherently. Sports cultivate within us the feeling of allyship. In supporting others, we show respect and develop mutual trust. But being an ally should not be limited to the court, the field, or the track. This appreciation we show for our teammates and crew, should extend to anyone. Being an ally is welcoming with open-arms someone’s authenticity. It’s knowing when to take actions but also when to stand back. It’s advocating for equality and visibility in the face of ignorance. Most importantly, at adidas we feel it is to lift the veil preventing our athletes and creatives trueselves to shine.

Rich posing, looking back.

Allyship is a process everyone needs to lean into, it’s only fair to the world for us to all actively work towards unlearning toxic ideas that poison our society. Being an ally means you have to do a lot of listening and acknowledge th­at it’s a lifelong process and commitment.

- Rich Mnisi - South African fashion designer - he/him

Collin standing with soccer ball.

adidas has supported me as an athlete since I signed my first professional contract, and since my coming out, they have further backed me as an athlete, not only to support me throughout my career, but to let other young athletes know that they will be supported in the world of sport if they are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

- Collin Martin - American professional soccer player - he/him

Ashlyn posing with arms crossed.

adidas supports me by letting me live my truth both on and off the field. They celebrate who I am as a person and player. They lift my voice and they support my LGBTQIA community. The brand aligns with my life goals to push for inclusion and equality in sport and across all industries.

What I love most about adidas is they never ask me to be something I am not. They celebrate our differences and understand that is what makes this brand so special. We all bring something unique to the table. The greatest gift is they give me a seat at that table.

- Ashlyn Harris - American professional soccer player - she/her

ELEVATING LOVE

“Love Unites” is embracing change, welcoming all types of love, supporting authenticity and creating conversations. Today, the easiest way to create conversations to reach large and small audiences alike is with social media. Our platforms are powerful tools to uplift voices with the influence to affect change in and out of our communities. By bringing awareness to diverse realities, we can shape spaces virtual and physical. Step by step striving for a more inclusive society.

Chelsea poised with basketball.

In a world where social media instantly reaches and unites people across the globe, it is my responsibility to use my platform to push boundaries and elevate expectations for my generation and the ones to follow. Standing up for equality is bigger than me.

- Chelsea Gray - American professional basketball player - she/her

Rachael posed with hands in sweatshirt pocket.

I think as high level, elite athletes we have a job to serve as a role models. To use my platform can send a very powerful message to all of the people I inspire. Showing support for equality is something all athletes should be doing, both male and female.

- Rachel Daly - English footballer - she/her

adidas / June 2021
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