Adidas Has Made Its Decision on Kanye

It's a no on Ye: Company cuts ties after series of antisemitic remarks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2022 6:18 AM CDT
Adidas Has Made Its Decision on Kanye
Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

It's been weeks since Adidas first mentioned it was mulling its partnership with Kanye West, who's been under fire after sporting a "White Lives Matter" shirt at Paris Fashion Week, followed by a string of antisemitic comments. Now, the mulling is over: Bloomberg reported early Tuesday that the company planned to cut ties, and by the time people were sitting in morning rush hour, that confirmation arrived. After what the company says was a "thorough review," it announced it's halting production on West's Yeezy line and cutting off payments to him, reports the AP. "Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech," the company said in a statement. It called West's recent comments "unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company's values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect, and fairness."

The loss in net income it will suffer from this move, per Adidas: up to $246 million this year. West, who now refers to himself as Ye, has already suffered a series of other losses linked to his inflammatory remarks, including having his Twitter and Instagram accounts shut down, getting dropped by his agency, seeing a documentary shelved, and suffering severed ties with Gap and Balenciaga. The Germany-based Adidas had felt the squeeze to do the same in recent days, and its lack of updates had spurred criticism. "While Adidas has refused to condemn Kanye West's antisemitism, hate groups like White Lives Matter and the Goyim Defense League are celebrating and promoting Ye's comments to further their extremist agendas," the Anti-Defamation League notes in a statement, asking Adidas to "run away from antisemitism." A petition also circulated asking the company to break things off.

For sure, it wasn't an easy business decision for Adidas to make, considering West's Yeezy line has brought the company up to 8% of its total sales in recent years, according to Wall Street observers. The company has called their relationship "one of the most successful collaborations in our industry's history." Now, that collaboration has come to a close. Another big blow to West comes from another formerly close partner: Kim Kardashian, who referenced the commotion online Monday without mentioning her ex-husband by name, per Deadline. "Hate speech is never OK or excusable," Kardashian tweeted Monday. "I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end." (More Kanye West stories.)

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