Adidas ended its partnership with Ye, also known as Kanye West, with “immediate results.”
In a statement Tuesday, the sportswear maker said it “does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other type of hate speech” and said his recent comments were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.” Adidas said they violated the company’s “values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
Sales and production of his Yeezy branded products and payments to Ye and his company have ceased. Adidas said its fourth-quarter sales would reach 250 million euros ($246 million).
Adidas has partnered with West since 2013, when the company signed its brand from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most important partnership ever between a non-athlete and a sports brand.”
But Adidas put the “partnership under review” in early October after wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in public. The Anti-Defamation League classifies the phrase as a “hate slogan” used by white supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan.
“I can say anti-Semitism, Adidas can’t give up on me,” Yeh said during a recent tirade about Jews on the Drink Champs podcast. He also threatened to “death hoax 3 on Jews” on Twitter.
Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said Adidas’ decision was a “very positive outcome”.
“This shows that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and will have consequences. There is no doubt that Adidas did the right thing by cutting ties with Ye following Mr. Ye’s vicious anti-Semitic remarks,” he said in a statement. said in the statement. “Finally, Adidas’ actions send a powerful message that anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in society.”
Adidas shares fell about 5 percent in Frankfurt. Adidas said it will release more information on the financial impact of unwinding its partnership with Ye in its earnings report on Nov. 9.
More and more brands are keeping their distance from the West. Balenciaga and Vogue publicly cut ties last week, and talent agency CAA dropped West as a client on Monday. Production company MRC said it was shelving a documentary about the West.
Last month, the rapper said he was ending his two-year relationship with Gap, citing “serious violations.” Ye said he had “no choice but to terminate their partnership,” claiming the company did not open branded Yeezy stores and distribute his merchandise as planned, his lawyers said in a statement.
Not just with Adidas, but with brands like Gap and Balenciaga, Ye’s saga underscores the importance of thoroughly vetting celebrities and avoiding those who are overly controversial or unstable,” GlobalData managing director Neil Sanders said in a Tuesday statement. wrote in a report.
“While there is some tight space in fashion, this must never cross the line of decency and basic respect for humanity. Companies or brands that don’t pay attention to this will be hit, especially if they rely too heavily on difficult personalities to push their business,” he added.
– Jon Sarlin of CNN Business contributed to this report.