German-based sports brand Adidas terminated a 9-year long partnership with rapper Kanye West after his anti-semitic comments on social media platforms followed scrutiny and severe backlash within the music industry and beyond.
This is a year of controversies for rapper Kanye West (also known as Ye) – sampling related lawsuits, public harassment of his ex-wife and her family, and spreading hate speech on social media is reaching its culmination in the form of financial reprimands by none other than the German sports brand who made distribution of Yeezy brand possible – Adidas. Adidas Group came out this Tuesday with a statement saying they are terminating partnership with the rapper immediately, as a consequence of his anti-semitic meltdown on Twitter and Instagram:
‘adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. 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. 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.’
The move to terminate this partnership will have a short-term cost in the amount of $250 million on Adidas’ net income this year, partially as the Christmas quarter usually sees greater demand. This partnership was already under review earlier in October ‘after repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation’ – Ye recently accused Adidas of stealing his designs for their own products.
The comments that resulted in this termination were posted earlier this month on Twitter, in which the rapper said in now-deleted Tweets he is ‘going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE’ before alleging he wasn’t ‘Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also’. This post reached many corners of the globe with shock and disgust, which resulted in Ye being locked out of his Twitter account, and restricted from posting, commenting and messaging on Meta platforms. Before Adidas’ statement, Ye was so far dropped by his talent agency, fashion brand Balenciaga and bank JP Morgan, and also boasted on an interview for Drink Champs podcast on YouTube: ‘I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?’
So far there were no comments on the issue made by Kanye’s lawyer.