After working together for more than nine years, Adidas fired Kanye West due to his contentious public statements and antisemitic sentiments. On October 25, the sportswear company disclosed that it has discontinued its relationship with Ye, 45. “Adidas does not allow antisemitism and any other kind of hate speech,” the brand declared in a press release. The company’s ideals of diversity and inclusiveness, mutual respect, and fairness have been violated by Ye’s recent words and actions, which are inappropriate, harmful, and filled with hatred.
Adidas subsequently declared that it will “immediately” “terminate” its business partnership with the rapper, freezing all Yeezy product manufacturing and all payments to Kanye. Given the strong seasonality of the fourth quarter, this is anticipated to have a short-term impact of up to 250 million [euros] on the company’s net income in 2022. All design rights to already-produced items, as well as to prior and future colors, belong exclusively to Adidas. The firm will provide further details as part of its upcoming Q3 results presentation on November 9, 2022.
The breakup follows Kanye’s highly contentious public sharing of anti-Semitic statements. His initial remarks were made when he published a text message he had written to Diddy, in which he implied that the rapper had only gotten in touch with him because “Jewish individuals that instructed you to contact me.” Following the uproar over introducing a range of shirts with the words “White Lives Matter” written on them during a Paris Fashion Week show, the founder of Bad Boy Records seems to have reached out to him. Then he was denied access to Instagram. Shortly after, he was banned from Twitter for saying he was going to “death [sic] con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
After the statements, a lot of celebrities spoke forward to condemn Kanye for his antisemitic sentiments. In an open letter to Adidas management, the Anti-Defamation League urged the business to “reconsider” its relationship with the rapper in light of his remarks. David Schwimmer, a cast member of Friends, joined the ADL in calling for Ye to be dropped through his Instagram Stories. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has recently espoused antisemitic tropes about Jewish intimidation, power, and control, as I’m sure you are aware, according to the ADL. “We implore Adidas to reconsider its sponsorship for the Ye product line and to make it abundantly clear that the Adidas organization and community have zero tolerance for antisemitism,” they wrote.
Adidas had earlier in October stated that it was in fact reevaluating its relationship with Kanye following the rapper’s introduction of the “White Lives Matter” shirt. “We have decided to put the collaboration under review after making many attempts to quietly settle the issue. Throughout this time, we will continue to co-manage the present product, they said in a statement to CNBC.
Despite the fact that the collaboration is being examined, Kanye has said that Adidas is powerless to stop his public outbursts. During an interview with the Drink Champs podcast, he claimed, “I can say antisemitic stuff and Adidas can’t drop me. Due to this remark, several individuals, notably the Campaign Against Antisemitism, demanded that Kanye be fired.
In 2013, Kanye and Adidas debuted their first joint shoe. In 2016, they agreed to a lengthier deal to continue working together, and the business had long benefited from it. The Adidas CEO Kasper Rsted has been the target of regular social media jabs from the Donda rapper in recent months. After Kanye parted ways with Gap, his connection with Adidas was also terminated. After two years, the firm chose to “wind down the collaboration” with Yeezy, according to a message distributed to staff.