Adidas to End Kanye West Partnership After String of Controversies

Adidas announced it will end its partnership with Kanye West following a rash of offensive behavior from the American rapper. 

The once-thriving shoe brand was turned into a lightning rod for criticism after West, who now goes by Ye, made a string of disrespectful and abusive comments and actions.  

The German sports company said its ties with West would be cut immediately. The company will take a hit of as much as $246.5 million to the net income in the current fiscal year. 

“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,” Adidas said in a statement. 

Adidas will terminate the partnership with Ye, end production of Ye’s Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. 

Adidas is the most recent company to sever its ties with Ye. Gap and Balenciaga also severed its ties with the rapper, as well as JPMorgan Chase. The rapper’s longtime talent agency CAA also stopped representing him in the past month. 

Ye made controversial and offensive statements, including antisemitic social media posts in recent weeks. The rapper also caused controversy by wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at Paris fashion week alongside right-wing commentator Candace Owens. 

Ye has been locked out of his social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram after making repeated antisemitic comments. The remarks created a massive and growing, backlash from consumers and celebrities. 

Twitter locked West’s account on 9 October after it removed one of his tweets that said he was going “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”. The platform said it violated its policies against hate speech.

The Facebook owner Meta restricted West’s Instagram account on 7 October after the rapper made an antisemitic post in which he appeared to suggest the rapper Diddy was controlled by Jewish people – an antisemitic trope.

The decision by Adidas follows weeks of deliberations inside the company over what to do. Adidas has spent the past decade building a line with Ye called Yeezy. It has accounted for as much as 8 percent of Adidas’s total sales. 

Adidas was called out by the public for not yet making a stance on Ye’s antisemitic remarks. The Anti-Defamation League even called on Adidas to end its business with Ye.  Ye recently claimed Adidas could not drop him, despite his comments fueling calls for a boycott. 

Ye is no stranger to controversy. In 2020 he had an aborted run for president. He also claimed slavery was a “choice.” 

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