As a result of Ye formerly known as Kanye West making multiple derogatory and antisemitic remarks in recent weeks, many have called for Adidas to sever ties with the rapper.
Kanye West has reportedly lost the support of the Balenciaga design brand, and his accounts on Twitter and Instagram have been suspended (although he has since announced his intention to buy the far-right friendly social media site, Parler).
According to a report published around midday on Monday, Ye’s representation by the prestigious Hollywood agency CAA, which had been in place since 2016, had dissolved this month. Furthermore, George Floyd’s relatives have decided to sue him because of things he said on a podcast.
Despite the rapper’s doubling down on antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories, the German footwear giant indicated at the beginning of this month that their collaboration was being reviewed but has not released any updates since then and continues to release new Yeezy goods.
In a now-deleted episode of the podcast Drink Champs on October 16, he appeared to boast about it, and a tape of the show has been extensively shared on social media.
Ye says, slowly and solemnly, “The thing about me and Adidas is like, I can actually spew anti-semitic s**t, and they can’t drop me.” “Even if I publicly express anti-Semitic views, Adidas will not fire me. So, what do we do now? So what?“
Worryingly, this question was answered over the weekend in Los Angeles, when a group of people draped antisemitic banners over a busy freeway (one of which said “Kanye is right about the Jews”) and made what appeared to be Nazi salutes.
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States, as the ADL points out in a campaign pushing people to “tell Adidas to run away from hatred.”
Adidas “has refused to condemn Kanye West’s antisemitism,” the group wrote, calling West’s actions “dangerous.” The group also claimed that “hate groups like White Lives Matter and the Goyim Defense League are applauding and publicizing Ye’s words to further their extreme goals.”
Many people are now demanding that Adidas break ties with Ye and publicly condemn his bigotry. The duration of their existing agreement is cited as 2026.
A Change.org petition has over 90,000 signatures from people telling Adidas to cancel its relationship with Ye, and #BoycottAdidas has been trending on Twitter for days. United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer reportedly released a company-wide statement condemning antisemitism and urged staff to “support the boycott of Kanye West,” and public figures ranging from David Schwimmer to Alexander Vindman have spoken out against Adidas.
It really is incredible that Kanye West could say, “I can say anti-Semitic things and @adidas can’t drop me,” and Adidas chooses to do exactly that.
Their silence says it all.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) October 24, 2022
For Almost A Decade, Adidas and Ye Have Worked Together
Although Ye’s initial Air Yeezy sneakers were introduced in the aughts in collaboration with other brands, he and Adidas have been working together since 2013 and formally established their alliance around two years later.
In addition to sneakers, clothes, lingerie, and other footwear are part of the Yeezy cooperation. Moreover, it is a lucrative one, with Morningstar analyst David Swartz telling The Washington Post that it brings in over $2 billion per year or roughly 10% of the company’s total yearly sales.
Ye’s criticisms of Adidas and its management have intensified in recent months. He claims that the company has stolen his ideas and doesn’t give him enough say in the direction of his line. In September, he severed ties with The Gap after making similar allegations against the company.
He also shared photos of Adidas board members online, including one that appeared to have been doctored to make it look like the company’s former CEO Kasper Rorsted had died.
Ye caused a stir in early October by making antisemitic social media remarks and wearing a “WHITE LIVES MATTER” t-shirt to a Paris fashion event.
On October 6th, Adidas Confirmed To The Media That It Was Considering Ending Its Collaboration With Ye
It released a statement saying, “After numerous efforts to privately settle the matter, we have taken the decision to place the collaboration under review,” adding that it and Ye will continue to jointly manage Yeezy’s shoe and apparel lines during the preview process.
If Ye, who is worth about $2 billion was to be fired from the company he would very probably cease to be a billionaire.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) October 24, 2022
Despite Negative Feedback, Adidas Continues To Produce New Yeezy Goods
Adidas has not only remained mute on Ye but has also kept rolling out new products from their collaboration, much to the chagrin of his detractors.
Although there were growing calls for Adidas to drop Ye and for consumers to stop buying Adidas products, the business unveiled a new colorway of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 over the weekend (dubbed “salt”). According to reports, they appear to be sold out on the Adidas website and had already been resold over 900 times on the online reseller marketplace Stockx by Monday morning.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote an open letter to Adidas’ leadership expressing his organization’s alarm over the impending release of new Yeezy products (including the Yeezy Boost 350) on or around October 27, the anniversary of the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history, at a time when many Jews are still grieving over the tragedy that occurred there.
ADIDAS WHERE YOU AT ON THIS BUBBA? DONT BE THE JABRONI AND NOT SPEAK UP AGAINST THE HATE OF THE BEAUTIFUL JEWISH PEOPLE pic.twitter.com/DrUa8I4xCH
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) October 24, 2022
As he continues to “espouse hateful antisemitic ideas to his 31 million Twitter followers, and as those noxious ideas spread across social media and the world thanks to his outsized media presence and celebrity status,” he writes, “we are surprised and concerned that Adidas – a brand that supports inclusion and diversity – continues to support the Ye product line and to release new products even as he continues to espouse hateful antisemitic ideas.”
I’m a little shocked that @adidas has still made no statement denouncing hate and anti-semitism, let alone firing @kanyewest ‘s ass. Adidas seems more than happy to accept being branding a hate supporting company. https://t.co/1mdVGbaJC3
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) October 24, 2022
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has monitored and evaluated Ye’s most recent comments, is demanding that Adidas withdraw its backing for the Yeezy brand and issue a public condemnation of antisemitism.
Some on social media have expressed astonishment that Adidas hasn’t made such a statement sooner, given the company’s checkered history, which includes the fact that Adidas and Puma were established by the feuding Dassler brothers, Adolf and Rudi, who were both members of the Nazi Party during World War II.
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