Adidas has ended its partnership with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, over his offensive and antisemitic remarks. It is the latest company to cut ties with Ye. The German sportwear company said that the decision would hit its bottom line.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech," the company said in a statement Tuesday. “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."
The company faced pressure to cut ties with Ye, with celebrities and others on social media urging Adidas to act. It said at the beginning of the month that it was placing its lucrative sneaker deal with the rapper under review.
Adidas said Tuesday that it conducted a “thorough review" and would immediately stop production of its line of Yeezy products and stop payments to Ye and his companies. The sportswear company said it was expected to take a hit of up to 250 million euros (USD 246 million) to its net income this year from the move.
Adidas began collaborating with Ye nearly a decade ago, after he left Nike, and has long weathered public barbs from the rapper. Its partnership with Yeezy, Ye’s company, which encompasses sneakers and clothing, is estimated to be worth billions, making it among the largest sources of Ye’s wealth.
For Adidas, working with Ye gave the company a boost of creative cool and credibility that helped attract high-fashion collaborators like Gucci and Balenciaga, according to the New York Times.
The move by Adidas, whose CEO Kasper Rorsted is stepping down next year, comes after Ye was suspended from Twitter and Instagram this month over antisemitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies.
He recently suggested slavery was a choice and called the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast," among other comments. He also was criticized for wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ T-shirt to his Yeezy collection show in Paris.
Ye’s talent agency, CAA, has dropped him, and the MRC studio announced Monday that it is shelving a complete documentary about the rapper.
The Balenciaga fashion house cut ties with Ye last week, according to Women’s Wear Daily. JPMorganChase and Ye have ended their business relationship, although the banking breakup was in the works even before Ye’s antisemitic comments.
In recent weeks, Ye also has ended his company’s association with Gap and has told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers.
After he was suspended from Twitter and Facebook, Ye offered to buy conservative social network Parler.
Demonstrators on a Los Angeles overpass Saturday unfurled a banner praising Ye’s antisemitic comments, prompting an outcry on social media from celebrities and others who said they stand with Jewish people.
(With AP inputs)
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