Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks
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Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks

Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks

Adidas would join Gap and Balenciaga fashion label in prematurely cutting ties with West

Zubina Ahmed
Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West over antisemitic remarks

Adidas has ended its partnership with famous rapper and designer Kanye West, with immediate effect.

In a statement, the German sportswear brand stated it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech, and that his recent comments were unacceptable, hateful, dangerous and violated the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Adidas would join Gap and Balenciaga fashion label in prematurely cutting ties with West. The rapper has made controversial statements, including antisemitic social media posts in recent weeks, and has moved to cut ties with his corporate partners.

The Adidas decision follows weeks of deliberations inside the company, which over the past decade has built the Yeezy line with him into a brand that’s accounted for as much as 8 per cent of Adidas’s total sales, according to several estimates from Wall Street analysts.

Sales and production of his Yeezy branded products have stopped as well as payments to West and his companies. Adidas said it will take a $246m to its fourth quarter sales.

That success, however, has come with plenty of acrimony between the partners. West has accused Adidas of copying his ideas and mismanaging the brand, and taunted outgoing CEO Kasper Rorsted on social media. Meanwhile, Adidas has said it’s repeatedly tried and failed to resolve issues with him privately.

The singer said in September he wants to negotiate with Adidas to get a 20 per cent royalty on all the shoes he’s designed with the company in perpetuity.

West caused more controversy after that by wearing a shirt at the Paris fashion week that said ‘White Lives Matter’. He later got locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts after making repeated anti-Semitic remarks, that have created a growing backlash of consumers and celebrities, with some calling for people to boycott Adidas products until the partnership is cancelled.

West’s partnership with Adidas dates back to 2013, when Adidas signed his brand away from rival Nike.

The current situation is one of many headaches for Adidas, which is searching for a new CEO to take over in 2023. The company has lowered its earnings forecast several times this year amid falling demand for its shoes and apparel in China and growing signs of economic trouble in Europe and North America.

With inputs from Bloomberg

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