Adidas Ends Partnership With Ye


Adidas announced Tuesday it is ending its relationship with Ye following his anti-Semitic comments.

"Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech," read a statement from the German company. "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."

Bloomberg reported earlier in the day that Adidas stock took a hit amidst pressure for it to distance itself from Ye.

Adidas partnered with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West on his Yeezy brand, which the company recently described as “one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history.”

In a clip from a recent appearance on Drink Champs, Ye said: “The thing about it being Adidas is like, I can literally say anti-Semitic s**t and they can’t drop me. I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”

Some people speculated that Ye was referencing the fact that Adidas – which sells the Yeezy line of athletic shoes – was founded by brothers Adolf Dassler and Rudolf Dassler, who became members of the Nazi Party. 

Adidas announced earlier this month that its partnership with Ye was “under review” after he wore a shirt emblazoned with “White Lives Matter” at a fashion show in Paris. In a statement, the company said it made the move after "repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation.”

But, the company had been silent about Ye’s antisemitic comments for several days. On Saturday, it released the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 “Salt,” which quickly sold out. The Yeezy brand is worth a reported $1.7 billion U.S. in annual sales to Adidas.

The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League had urged Adidas to ditch Ye over his “increasingly strident antisemitic remarks.” It called on the company to reconsider supporting the [Yeezy] product line and to issue a statement making clear that the Adidas company and community has no tolerance whatsoever for antisemitism.”

Last week, Kering SA announced its Balenciaga brand was cutting ties with Ye. It had been part of the Yeezy Gap collection, which was scrapped this summer.

On Monday, a rep for talent agency CAA confirmed to CNBC that Ye “is not a client” after Variety reported that he was dropped from the roster. According to The New York Times, Ye's label G.O.O.D. Music has been dropped from Def Jam (his own contract with Def Jam ended with 2021's Donda).

Production company MRC Studio said it has shelved a documentary film about Ye because it “cannot support any content that amplifies his platform.”

In a statement, the company said: “Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3,000 years — the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain.”

Kim Kardashian, Ye’s ex-wife with whom he has four children, shared a message Monday on social media. “Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”

Ye came under fire after he shared screenshots of a text conversation with Diddy in which he told the hip hop mogul: "Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me. I told you this was war.” After the post was removed by Instagram, Ye tweeted: “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.

“The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also. You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

He later wrote: “Who you think created cancel culture?”

In an interview that aired last week, Ye said: “I don’t like the term anti-Semitic. It’s been a term that has allowed people, specifically in my industry, to get away with murder – sometimes literally – and get away with robbing and doing bad. 

“I don’t believe in that term. One thing is, Black people are also Jew. I classify as Jew also so I actually can’t be an anti-Semite so the term is not factual.”

In another interview, Ye was asked if he regretted writing “death con 3” (an apparent reference to the military condition “DEFCON”). Ye replied: “No, absolutely not.”

He eventually offered a qualified apology. “I will say I’m sorry for the people that I hurt with the ‘Death Con’ — the confusion that I caused,” he said.

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