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Adidas ends Kanye West deal in light of rapper’s anti-Semitic comments

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Adidas has ended its partnership with Kanye West over his anti-Semitic comments.

It’s the latest company to cut ties with the rapper and billionaire entrepreneur, calling his inflammatory statements as “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous”.

The German sportswear brand said in a statement today (October 25): “Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism 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.”

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Earlier this month, the company faced pressure to end its lucrative sneaker deal with West. Reports at the time said that Adidas had placed the partnership under review over matters not necessarily pertaining to his hate speech.

Kanye West
Kanye West pictured in London in September 2022. CREDIT: Neil Mockford/GC Images

Now, Adidas has said (via AP) that it’s conducted a “thorough review” and will immediately stop production of its line of Yeezy products and stop payments to West and his companies.

The clothing company said that it was expected to take a hit of up to €250million (£217million) to its net income this year from the decision.

It follows West making multiple comments in recent weeks that have been condemned as anti-Semitic. Ye has denied that they were racist remarks.

While the rapper and producer has refused to accept that the term “anti-Semitism” exists because he claims it’s “not factual”, he has since offered something of an “apology” to those whom he’s offended with his comments.

West partnered with Adidas under the Yeezy banner in late 2013, with their first collection debuting in 2015.

Over the past year, however, Ye has accused Adidas of a number of wrongs including allegedly creating Yeezy Day – the annual day in which the brand releases some of its most anticipated Yeezy sneaker drops – without his personal approval.

Kanye West
Kanye West. CREDIT: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

Last month he hit out at the company again with a new post imagining the death of the sportswear brand’s chief Kasper Rørsted.

When Adidas said that it had placed the partnership “under review”, West responded in a since-deleted Instagram post (via Pitchfork): “FUUUUUUCK ADIDAS I AM ADIDAS.” Ye has had his Instagram and Twitter accounts locked in the wake of his inflammatory statements.

This month, several companies and organisations elsewhere have been reported to have cut ties with West, including his lawyer and booking agency. And Hollywood production company and financiers, MRC, has revealed that it will shelve a “recently completed” documentary about West.

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga has axed its relationship with the star, while a representative for Vogue magazine has confirmed to Page Six that neither the magazine nor its editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, plan to work with West moving forwards.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Kim Kardashian; Kanye West. CREDIT: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images; Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian has said she “[stands] together with the Jewish community”, in the wake of her ex-husband’s comments, and reports have emerged that Ye is no longer signed to the record label Def Jam.

The New York Times cited an unnamed source claiming that West’s label G.O.O.D. Music – a Def Jam imprint – is no longer affiliated. Ye’s contract with his long-time record company expired with his 2021 album ‘DONDA‘.

It’s not known if the reported expiry is linked to West’s recent comments or his “White Lives Matter” stunt, which has drawn significant backlash.

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