Riddell DE&I

An Update on our DE&I Efforts

A Letter from Riddell President & CEO Dan Arment

This past year has brought upon many challenges for all of us. Not just as members of the Riddell community, but as a broader community. Through these difficulties, we’ve also had the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on ways that we can evolve – as a brand, as a business, and as a society.

The last year has served as a time of reflection and progress at Riddell. We understand the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and have taken steps to ensure that all our employees, partners and stakeholders feel comfortable and are represented inside and outside our walls.

We’re in a unique position because the sport that we work to protect each and every day is incredibly diverse. However, we’ve recognized that often times there hasn’t been enough of a spotlight specifically on Black athletes who make up the largest demographic in FBS Power Five conferences at 46%, as well as in the NFL at nearly 58%.

Last week, we proudly announced that Riddell will be the official protective equipment partner of the HBCU Legacy Bowl in 2022. The newly formed postseason all-star game will showcase some of the best NFL draft-eligible players from HBCU’s and will provide great exposure for HBCU programs while celebrating Black athletes and culture.

We’ve also raised our emphasis on connecting at the local level, particularly in underprivileged areas, to help grow the game and equip youth programs with the equipment they need to succeed. Outside of our ongoing Smarter Football program – which rewards teams with much-needed equipment grants – we’ve also coordinated spot donations to local programs. As an example, our team facilitated an equipment donation to Minneapolis South High School, who’s players were directly impacted by the killing of George Floyd and associated violence last year.

Another area of priority for us has been our support of girls and women in football. We have been a proud supporter of the U.S. Women’s National Team through our USA Football partnership, and more recently have forged a multi-year partnership with the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) as the official protective equipment and reconditioning provider. Our relationship with the WNFC is important as it underscores our commitment to the rapidly growing game of women’s flag and tackle football.

Beyond our commitment outside Riddell, we’ve also created programs and protocols internally to encourage a culture of inclusion – which we realize will be an ongoing effort. Our Riddell Inclusion Committee has spearheaded organizational DE&I efforts and supported our larger team in creating a clear and poignant DE&I values statement. More broadly, diversity has been a focus during our sales meetings, and we’ve incorporated bias trainings into our employee growth and leadership strategy. We’ve also offered diversity trainings and learning opportunities through our HR team and will continue to emphasize the importance of DE&I in our regular communications cadence. Most recently in our June companywide newsletter, we featured resources about LGBTQ+ Pride Month and Juneteenth alongside employee commentary on the significance of these milestones.

With all of that said, we know we’re not all the way there yet in terms of DE&I. Our progress is a continuum, and we’ll continue evolving our approach on an ongoing basis. We are pleased with the progress we’re making and look forward to a future that is as diverse and inclusive as the sport that we all know and love.

We all have a role to play in combating racism and discrimination in its many forms, and as the leader in our industry, it is our responsibility to embrace differences, inspire real change in our communities, and commit to a better future for those around us. We look forward to continuing this journey together.

    -Dan Arment