Pro-gay Adidas post draws ire of bigots on Instagram

The best way to get your brand to go viral on Instagram: make it about gay rights. Adidas drew the furor of anti-gay activists on Valentine’s Day with an image showing two pairs of obviously female legs, with one on tip-toes, apparently reaching up for a kiss.

The caption read: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

The photo, which got 146,000 likes, got plenty of support, but also lots of anti-Adidas comments.


“Shame on you adidas !!!! I’m going to Nike now,” said americanhero123.

Adidas replied to each homophobic comment with a big emoji kiss: “No, this day is for LOVE. Happy Valentine’s Day,” it said to “azemann.”

The love you take is equal to the love you make.

A photo posted by adidas (@adidas) on

This is not the first time the brand has taken a staunchly pro-LGBT stance. Last year, it released a limited edition of each of its more popular designs featuring the gay pride rainbow flag. The Stan Smith, Adilette Slide and the Superstar all got makeovers, and a portion of the sales were donated to an Oregon-based advocacy group for LGBT adolescents and teenagers. The company also recently introduced a clause in sports sponsorship agreements that said its sponsor agreements would not be terminated or modified if an athlete comes out as a member of the LGBT community.

According to L2’s sportswear report from 2015, Adidas is consistently the second-best performing brand on social media in the sports category. Nike is ranked first. The analysts at L2 drew attention to Adidas’ Instagram chops — the brand has 7.1 million followers on the platform.

Adidas also has one of the highest follower-to-likes ratios on Instagram, besting even Nike, which has many more followers but about the same number of likes per photo.

The brand is also having a good week on the business front: The company signed a deal with Kanye West that analysts said would improve its performance and help the brand steal thunder from Nike and its Jordan line.

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