rThis summer we’ve been in full-swing with sports, but we wanted to draw attention to an issue that extends way beyond any court, field, or gym and requires us to take a step back for perspective.
A much needed spotlight has been illuminated on the cannabis and hemp industries at large regarding the racial disparities and oppression that continues to affect our BIPOC communities, further fueled by the lasting impact of our country’s failures associated with the ‘War On Drugs’. Marginalized groups including Black Americans have been incarcerated at disproportionately higher rates and have not been provided the same economic benefits as white participants, and the effects extend so much further beyond just the cannabis industry. This inherent racism is something we have been committed to helping change as individuals and as a brand—alongside our partners, our athletes, the investors we’ve assembled, our community, and with the give back programs we’ve championed including in our first two years of business. But we recognize there is so much more work to do. And we are far from done.
We founded Mendi to improve the lives of all athletes through building the healthiest recovery tools possible, and integral to this work is ensuring we positively impact people who’ve helped pave the way for progress in our country, especially as it relates to freeing this plant. Any contribution we make to continue fighting to destigmatize cannabis is simply a continued step in what we believe is the right direction, allowing more people access to natural alternatives that may provide solutions to their overall wellbeing. It’s with great humility and honor that we get to be in a position where there’s an opportunity in front of us to collectively make an impact for good.
Old systems and policies in our sports landscape failed to protect athletes or empower their health and wellness. The Tokyo Games marked the first major event where the cannabinoid CBD became a WADA-approved substance for athletes. While this milestone was a crucial step forward towards a healthier landscape in cannabis and sports, we still feel it doesn’t go far enough in providing athletes with the true range of benefits found in the 100+ other cannabinoids available in the cannabis plant. The full availability of the plant can provide effective relief for athletes under intense and unhealthy pressure competing at the highest levels and pushing their bodies to the limits. If we’re going to continue our fight to build a more level playing field and a brighter future for sports, we have to keep progressing forward by changing the stigma so there’s a more balanced understanding of cannabis and the tremendous role it can have in athlete health and wellness.
We are fortunate to have a diverse team of athletes and investors represent Mendi through our work destigmatizing cannabis. In addition to our broader team, we are lucky to be able to support four Olympic athletes who competed on the world stage this summer. The storyline being played out in the media with a few of our athletes and their relationship with cannabis has put an overdue spotlight on the hypocrisy not just in sports, but on the racially oppressive history with the plant. We acknowledge our privilege as two white business owners and are committed to continue growing not just our understanding of the responsibility we have as participants in this growing industry, but more importantly the actions and work we make to have a real impact shaping it for the better.
We will continue to step into these conversations with humility, putting heightened attention towards a subject that’s long overdue. We encourage any new members of our growing community to continue to bring up these important questions scrutinizing the status quo and to work with us as we address historical issues, provide resources to organizations doing incredible work advocating for cannabis policies, and empower a real equitable change in our industry.
We look forward to expanding conversations that exist within the cannabis industry with our loyal customers, friends, family, investors, partners, athletes and new colleagues we are meeting along the way.
Thank you for your support and continued conversation,
Rachael & Brett
By: Rachael Rapinoe September 06, 2023 2 min readRead More