Adidas has added a new clause into it’s athlete’s contract, stating that their sponsorships won’t be affected (changed or terminated) if they come out as gay, bisexual, or trans.
Adidas’ chief financial officer, Robin Stalker, revealed the change on Thursday at the first British conference dedicated to improving the visibility and treatment of LGBT people in sport.
The new clause 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.”
In Britain it’s illegal to fire someone due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, but in certain US states and a number of other countries these rules don’t apply. The potential for losing sponsorship deals has always been a key factor in keeping athletes and sports personalities in the closet.
The change comes two years after Adidas announced that GB Olympic diver Tom Daley would be the face of the company’s new NEO label – a deal offered to the diver not long after he revealed on YouTube that he is in a relationship with a man.