Adidas, the world’s second largest sportswear company, celebrated this Valentines day by debuting a new advertisement that features a same-sex couple. The ad shows two women donned in matching running shoes and leaning in for an off-screen kiss. This was posted on Instagram along with the quote “The love you take is equal to the love you make”
While there has been widespread support for the new ad, a few homophobic critics have been making their opinions heard. However, Adidas has shown an incredible amount of face and sass when handling these hateful comments. Several commenters have threatened to abandon Adidas altogether and switch to Nike instead. Adidas responded to this with the emojis of a hand waving goodbye and a kissy face. Another comment claimed that Valentines day was a day for boys and girls only. To this, Adidas stated “this day is for LOVE.”
This is not the first time that Adidas has shown its love for the LGBT+ community. An Adidas spokesperson told the New York Daily News that the company has always supported love “in many forms.” In addition, the company celebrated pride month in 2015 by releasing its “Pride Pack”, a limited edition show line with rainbow designs. In more recent news, Adidas became the first company to guarantee that they “will not terminate any endorsement deals if the athlete comes out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.” This gesture of acceptance is meant to emphasize the principles of diversity and equality which are represented in the brands philosophy.
As Adidas continues to make strides towards equality, other companies should be taking note and following their lead when it comes to actively including the LGBT+ community. It is essential that the queer community receives ongoing support within large companies in order to challenge and eliminate lingering forms of discrimination. While many brands claim to be advocates of LGBT+ rights, they need to actively show their support in order for anything to change.
However, there is good news! After the legalization of gay marriage within the United States, many familiar companies came out to show their support. Everyday there are more companies that are donning rainbow colors in support of the LGBT+ community, which is bad news for ignorant people everywhere. Along with Adidas, here are a few companies that are actively supporting queer communities:
That’s right, homophobic Instagram users were threatening to boycott Adidas in favor of another LGBT+ rights supporter. Nike has been a highly visible and long time advocate of the community, ever since they began the #BeTrue clothing line in celebration of pride month. Nike used this line to raise a donation of $200,000 which was given to the LGBT Sports Coalition. Also, the company has recently been in the news as Manny Pacquiao had harsh words towards gay and lesbian individuals. In response to this outburst, Nike dropped Pacquiao’s contract and terminated their sponsorship with him. This solidified their position on acceptance and equality within the company.
Many of us are familiar with Netflix and its wide variety of binge-worthy shows. But when taking a look at Netflix Originals, it is astonishing how many of them portray queer relationships. While few big-name television channels will include LGBT+ characters in their programs, Netflix has proven itself time and time again. It also disproves the common misconception that a show that includes romantic queer relationships, will revolve solely around those relationships. One example can be seen within Sense 8, a Netflix Original where right strangers from around the globe begin to share a mental connection. One of these protagonists is a transgender woman named Nomi who is in a healthy, loving relationship with Amanita. While devoted to one another, they are both complex characters who rely on their wit and quick thinking throughout the show. They are vital to the plot of the show and even rescue the others on a number of occasions. Netflix also offers queer shows and films such as The L Word, Queer as Folk, I Love You Philip Morris, The Hours, Geography Club, and many more.
Another open-minded company that makes the list is Apple. In 2011, Apple was one of several companies which expanded their insurance options for employees, making sure that gender confirmation surgery would be covered. In 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay, making him the first openly queer CEO on the Fortune 500 list. This took place just days after he publicly called out his home state of Alabama over their lack of recognition regarding LGBT+ rights. Cook has been an outspoken advocate for equal rights since then, using his influence to reveal and challenge different forms of discrimination.