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Adidas Ends Partnership With Kanye West

Adidas Ends Partnership With Kanye West

Adidas said on Tuesday that it is ending its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after the rapper made antisemitic remarks. 

Adidas said the move would have a short-term negative impact of up to $246 million (€250 million) on net income in 2022 due to high seasonality in the fourth quarter.

Adidas said in a statement:

 “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. 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.

“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.

“This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter.

“Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership. More information will be given as part of the company’s upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on November 9, 2022.”

Adidas reviewed its partnership on October 6 after Kanye West was publicly critical of the company and its CEO; however, the pressure to end ties escalated after West made antisemitic remarks and embraced a slogan associated with White supremacists that earned him widespread condemnation. 

West said while on a podcast on October 16, “I can say anti-semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”

Calls on Adidas had also come from at least three legal organizations and anti-racism groups. The Anti-Defamation League said, “What more do you need to review?”

Some Adidas employees also called out Adidas. 

In a LinkedIn post on Monday, U.S.-based Adidas employee Sarah Camhi wrote: “It’s been 14 days since Kanye started spewing anti-semitic rhetoric, and Adidas has remained quiet both internally to employees as well as externally to our customers.”

The director for trade marketing added: 

“We need to do better as a brand. We need to do better for our employees, and we need to do better for our communities. Until Adidas takes a stand, I will not stand with Adidas.”

Adidas began working with West in 2013 and, in 2016, signed a deal to manufacture and distribute items from his Yeezy clothing line through the company. Adidas previously said the partnership had a “tremendous impact” on its business and was one of the most successful collaborations in the history of its industry.