Kanye West was dropped by Adidas for his controversial public statements and antisemitic remarks after over nine years of collaborating with each other. The sportswear brand announced that they had severed ties with Ye, 45, on Oct. 25. The brand released a press release with the following statement: “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments nad actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
Adidas then confirmed that it would be “terminating” its relationship with the rapper “immediately,” ending all production of Yeezy products and stopping all payments to Kanye with immediate effect. “This is expected to have a short term impact of up to 250 million [euros] on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth guarter. Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership. More information will be given as part of the company’s upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on November 9, 2022.”
The split comes after Kanye stirred up much controversy while publicly sharing antisemitic remarks. His first comments came when he posted a text message he’d sent to Diddy, suggesting that the rapper had only reached out to him because “Jewish people that told you to call me.” The Bad Boy Records founder seemed to have reached out to him following the controversy for debuting a line of shirts with the phrase “White Lives Matter” printed on them at a Paris Fashion Week show. He was then restricted on Instagram. He was booted from Twitter shortly after for writing that he was going “death [sic] con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Following the remarks, a number of stars came forward to call out Kanye over the antisemitic comments. The Anti-Defamation League called on Adidas to “reconsider” its partnership with the rapper in light of his statements in an open letter to the company’s executives. Friends star David Schwimmer took to his Instagram Stories to join the ADL in demanding they drop Ye. “As I’m sure you are aware, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has recently used his media presence and social influence to espouse antisemitic tropes about Jewish intimidation, power and control,” the ADL wrote. “We urge Adidas to reconsider supporting the Ye product line and to issue a statement making clear that the Adidas company and community has no tolerance whatsoever for antisemitism.”
Earlier in October, Adidas had announced that it was indeed reconsidering its partnership with Kanye, after the rapper debuted the “White Lives Matter” shirt. “After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period,” they said in a statement to CNBC.
Despite the partnership being under review, Kanye has claimed that there’s little that Adidas could do about his public outbursts. “I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me,” he said during an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast. This comment led to a number of people calling for Kanye to get dropped, including the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Kanye and Adidas first released a collaborative sneaker back in 2013. They signed a longer contract to work together in 2016, and it had long been a success for the company. In recent months, the Donda rapper had taken frequent shots at Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted on his social media. The ended partnership with Adidas also comes after Kanye parted ways with Gap. A memo was sent to employees saying that the company had decided to “wind down the partnership” with Yeezy after two years.