Adidas Terminates Its Billion-Dollar Deal With Kanye West

By Tony M. Centeno

October 25, 2022

Kanye West
Photo: Getty Images

Adidas has officially ended its partnership with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West following his offensive comments about the Jewish community.

On Tuesday morning, October 25, adidas issued a statement in which they explain why they have cut ties with Ye. The shoe brand that housed Ye's Yeezys for nearly a decade emphasized that it won't stand for hate speech of any kind. They acknowledged that the rapper's anti-Semitic comments and other hateful rhetoric "violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.” Their decision was reached after the company previously announced that their deal with Ye was "under review."

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement. “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.”

Adidas also acknowledged that their decision will cost them at least $246 million. The termination comes days after adidas was pressured to drop the artist after he doubled-down on his racist commentary during his recent media blitz. After he debuted his problematic 'White Lives Matter' t-shirts at his surprise YZY show earlier this month, Ye spewed numerous anti-Semitic comments on social media before he was swiftly booted from both Instagram and Twitter. The move inspired him to buy the far-right leaning platform Parler.

He also repeated his rhetoric about Jews and George Floyd's death on several platforms including REVOLT's Drink Champs and Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight. He made an attempt to apologize to those Jewish families he hurt with his words during his appearance on Piers Morgan's show, but refused to apologize to the Jews who did him wrong. Programs like HBO's The Shop also hosted Ye but killed the episode after he continued to repeat the same hateful talking points.

Ye's controversial statements also led to the end of numerous business relationships with brands like Balenciaga, who collaborated with him for his Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection. He was also dropped by his talent agency CAA. The MRC studio, who had completed a documentary about Ye, also decided to shelf the project for the time being. Prior to that, Ye and Gap officially ended their short-lived partnership followed by JPMorgan Chase, who ended their business relationship with him as well.

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