Kanye West: Adidas ends its partnership with Ye

New York
CNN Business

Adidas has ended its partnership with Yealso known as Kanye West, with “immediate effect”.

In a statement on Tuesday, the sportswear maker said it “does not condone anti-Semitism and any other type of hate speech” and said its recent comments were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.” Adidas said it violated the company’s “values ​​of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness”.

Sales and production of his Yeezy-branded products ceased along with payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas said it would take a 250 million euro ($246 million) hit to its fourth-quarter sales.

Adidas has partnered with West since 2013, when the company signed its brand away from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and a sports brand.”

But Adidas put the “partnership under scrutiny” in early October after he wore 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.

Recently, Ye said, “I can say anti-Semitic shit and Adidas can’t let me down,” during a tirade against Jews on the Drink Champs podcast. He also has threatened on Twitter to “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Adidas’ decision was a “very positive outcome”.

“It shows that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and has consequences. Undoubtedly, Adidas did the right thing by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious anti-Semitic rants,” he said in a statement. “Ultimately, Adidas’ action sends a powerful message that anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in society.”

He added on CNN earlier Tuesday that he wished it had happened sooner, but Adidas “made a very strong statement in putting people before profits.”

Adidas shares

fell 5% in Frankfurt. Adidas

said it will release additional information on the financial implications of dissolving its partnership with Ye in its next earnings report on Nov. 9.

The list of brands distancing themselves from West is growing. Balenciaga and Vogue publicly severed ties last week, and talent agency CAA dropped West as a client on Monday. Production company MRC said it was shelving a documentary about West.

Also on Tuesday, Gap announced that it was remove Yeezy Gap merchandise of its stores and shut down YeezyGap.com.

“The recent remarks and behavior of our former partner further underscores why. We are taking immediate action to remove the Yeezy Gap product,” the retailer said in a statement.

Last month, the rapper said he was ending his rocky two-year relationship with the Gap, citing “substantial non-compliance.” Ye said he had “no choice but to end their collaboration,” alleging the company failed to open Yeezy-branded stores and distribute its merchandise as planned, his lawyer said in a statement.

Ye’s saga, not just with Adidas but with brands like Gap and Balenciaga, “underscores the importance of carefully vetting celebrities and avoiding those who are too controversial or unstable,” Neil Saunders, chief executive of the company, wrote on Tuesday. GlobalData.

“While there is room for some tension in fashion, it should never cross the line of decency and basic respect for humanity. Companies or brands that disregard this will be stung, especially if they become too dependent on a difficult personality to run their business,” he added.

– Parija Kavilanz and Jon Sarlin of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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