Adidas ends Kanye West partnership over ‘antisemitism, hate speech’

Published October 26, 2022
A FEB 9, 2020, file photo shows Kanye West at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, following the 92nd annual Oscars, at Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.—AFP
A FEB 9, 2020, file photo shows Kanye West at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, following the 92nd annual Oscars, at Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.—AFP

BERLIN: Adidas AG is terminating its partnership immediately with Kanye West, the sporting goods maker said on Tuesday, reacting to a rash of offensive behaviour from the American rapper and designer.

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

“Yes 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,” it said, referring to the rapper by his legal name.

A lawyer representing Kanye West did not respond to a request for comment.

Ending the partnership and the production of Yeezy branded products, as well as stopping all payments to Ye and his companies will “have a short-term negative impact” of up to $250 million” on Adidas’ net income this year, the company said, partially as the Christmas quarter tends to see greater demand usually.

Adidas put the partnership under review earlier in October “after repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation.” Ye has courted controversy in recent months by publicly ending major corporate tie-ups and due to outbursts on social media against other celebrities. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted, with the social media platforms removing some of his online posts that users condemned as antisemitic.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2022

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