Adidas drops the other shoe on Ye
Adidas yesterday ended its partnership with Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, following a series of antisemitic remarks he has made recently in multiple forums.
“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” a company said in announcing its decision. “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
Adidas expects to take a hit of around $250 million as a result of its action.
The athletic wear maker had come under recent pressure from a variety of anti-hate groups to cut ties with the controversial celebrity. Mr. West has made a series of antisemitic remarks in interviews and social media of late.
The Anti-Defamation League last week cited examples of Mr. West’s antisemitic tropes, including alleging that mainstream media is controlled by Jews to nefarious ends. He said in an interview on Revolt TV’s “Drink Champs” that the “Jewish people have owned the Black voice.”
Mr. West’s statements have been widely condemned except by a handful of religious and racial hate groups such as White Lives Matter and the Goyim Defense League. The latter hung a banner on a freeway overpass in Los Angeles this weekend that read, “Kanye is right about the Jews” as members gave a Nazi salute to motorists passing underneath.
The length of time it took Adidas to end its ties with Mr. West puzzled many, particularly after he called the company out on Drink Champs. “The thing about it being, Adidas, I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me … now what … now what,” he said.
Gap, which last month announced it was ending its partnership with Mr. West, said yesterday that it is “taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product” from its stores and that it had taken YeezyGap.com offline.
Foot Locker is also removing Yeezy merchandise from its stores, CNBC reports. “While we remain a partner with Adidas and carry a wide assortment of their collections — we will not be supporting any future Yeezy product drops,” a Foot Locker spokesperson said.
Balenciaga terminated its relationship with Mr. West last week.
- Adidas terminates partnership with Ye immediately – Adidas
- Unpacking Kanye West’s Antisemitic Remarks – Anti-Defamation League
- Rise in antisemitism is feared after banner saying ‘Kanye is right’ is hung over Los Angeles freeway – NBC News
- Stop Antisemitism – Twitter
- Kanye West – Drink Champs Interview (Full Video) – YouTube
- Statement on Yeezy Partnership – Gap Inc.
- Adidas terminates Ye partnership, Gap removes Yeezy items over rapper’s antisemitic remarks – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the Adidas brand be negatively affected by what some saw as a a slow response to Ye’s antisemitic comments? Have Mr. West’s words doomed the Yeezy brand going forward?