Adidas has cut ties with rapper Kanye West, saying it “does not tolerate antisemitism” after the rapper was suspended from Instagram and Twitter over offensive posts.
Adidas’ Yeezy brand collaboration with West was put under review, following a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt design that was shown at Paris Fashion Week.
West responded to the company’s decision to put him under review in a now-deleted Instagram post writing, “F*** ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS ADIDAS RAPED AND STOLE MY DESIGNS.”
Whilst the company did not explicitly say the collection was the reason for the review Adidas told BBC that they had made “repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation.” Just a couple of days later, West drew heavy criticism for his antisemitic remarks.
Adidas follows in the footsteps of Balenciaga, Gap, and JPMorgan Chase who have also cut all ties with the rapper in the wake of his antisemitic comments. Despite West’s claims that Adidas could not drop him, let’s find out why they have done just that…
Adidas cuts ties with Ye
Adidas began its partnership with Ye in 2013, and the contract was due to expire in 2026. However, Adidas terminated their relationship earlier than scheduled following Ye’s offensive remarks.
The German sports brand released a statement announcing recent comments from Mr West, who has officially changed his name to Ye, were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness”.
Adidas’ decision was put in place “immediately” and was made after a “thorough review.” Of course, this will have an effect on the athletic company which will take a “short-term” hit of €250m (£217m) to its income for this year. It will also end the production of Yeezy products and stop all payments to the rapper.
However, Adidas also revealed in the statement that it owns all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new color variations under the Yeezy partnership.
West’s social media accounts get banned
West’s Instagram account got restricted on October 7 after the rapper made an antisemitic post in which he appeared to suggest the rapper Diddy was controlled by Jewish people, as per Page Six.
He later called out “Jewish media” on Instagram after posting a screenshot of his text messages with Diddy in which Kanye wrote: “This ain’t a game. 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.”
In fact, Kanye has made controversial statements on many social media platforms with his Twitter account getting locked on October 9. It happened following a tweet that violated the service’s policies against hate speech as West said he was going “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Adidas under mounting pressure to cut ties with West
Since then, Adidas has been under mounting pressure to end its relationship with the artist. The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany also said Adidas had a responsibility to cut ties with Kanye, writes The Guardian.
“Adidas has to face up to its historic responsibility not just as a German company, but also as a company that was tangled up with and profited from the National Socialist dictatorship”, Josef Schuster told the newspaper, Bild.
“Since then, Adidas has done a lot to distance itself from its past”, Schuster added. “If this is to be believable, then cutting ties with Kanye West is mandatory. Not the best sneaker can be worth being linked to the depths that this artist has lowered himself to.”
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