Adidas Blocks Athletes From Representing USA
Athletes running forAdidas at the Monaco diamond league were told that they could not represent the USA in the 4x100m relay because it would mean wearing Nike kit. Mike Rodgers, who ran on the USA ‘A’ team, told Flotrack how the USA ‘B’ team couldn’t race because Adidas athletes Trell Kimmons and Marvin Bracy were forced to withdraw. Adidas apparently contacted USATF to say that their athletes cannot don the Nike USA kit unless it’s at the World championships or Olympic Games.
The ‘A’ team consisting of Nike athletes Rodgers, Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin and Trayvon Brommell clocked a time of 37.87 to win by over a second, and Rodgers was disappointed that the ‘B’ USA team weren’t there as some worthy competition.
Nike have a monopoly over the USA federation having signed a 23 year extension with them last year which will bring their partnership up to 2040. This means that if you’re an American athlete outside the Nike bubble you may find it difficult to make a living.
So where’s the solution in all this? Well, a team representing the USA in a non-televised event at a diamond league does not need to be wearing USA kit. They could wear their own individual sponsored kit and get on with the job of getting the stick around. While Nike obviously hold most of the power, Adidas are doing themselves no favours by blocking their athletes from competing. It seems to be a fairly petty squabble that could harm the chances of athletes like Bracy and Kimmons from breaking into that USA ‘A’ team for Beijing.
Have a listen to Mike Rodgers explaining the situation below.