Adidas on Tuesday announced the end of its commercial partnership with billionaire rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
The German sportswear manufacturer released a statement explaining its reasons for ending the business relationship. He read:
Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other type 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 careful consideration, the company made the decision to immediately end the partnership with Ye, end production of Yeezy-branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will discontinue the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.
Adidas said this would have a short-term negative impact of up to $246 million on net profit in 2022 due to strong seasonality in the fourth quarter.
As Breitbart News reported, pressure on Adidas from the public and its own employees to cut ties with Ye grew after he said in a podcast on Oct. 16, “I can say anti-Semitic things. , and Adidas can’t let go of me. . Now what?”
“The thing about Adidas is that I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can’t let me go. Now what? Now what?”
—Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) October 21, 2022
Calls for Adidas to end the relationship have come from at least three legal organizations, as well as anti-racism groups.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has pressured Adidas to cut ties with West following the artist and fashion mogul’s series of public rants in which he targeted Jews.
In a letter to Adidas executives last Thursday, ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt expressed dismay that the sportswear company has yet to formally disassociate itself from West, whose Yeezy line of shoes is made in partnership with Adidas.
Adidas began working with West in 2013, and in 2016 signed an agreement to manufacture and distribute items from its Yeezy apparel line across the company and around the world.
The decision to sever ties on Tuesday came 24 hours after one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, CAA, said it was dropping West.
Film and television producer MRC said it was shelving an already completed documentary about West.
“We cannot support any content that amplifies its platform,” the company said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Other entertainment figures, including Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, have called on all companies to sever ties with him.
Kanye West was suspended from Twitter and Instagram over the weekend after posting several anti-Semitic posts, including a warning that he intended to go on ‘death sentence’. [sic] 3 on the JEWISH PEOPLE” in the following articles. https://t.co/Tp3FNVxbSo
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 9, 2022
The company has previously said the partnership has had a “tremendous impact” on its business and is one of the most successful collaborations in its industry’s history.
Adidas fell 4% in morning trading in Frankfurt after Bloomberg announced early in the day that it planned to end the partnership.
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