Sportswear giant Adidas has joined the growing list of companies and public figures taking a stand against Ye, formerly Kanye West, as he continues to double down on regular bouts of hate speech.
In a new statement, the company, which was part way through a 10-year partnership with the rapper, said it would be terminating its contract with Ye “immediately”.
It comes after Adidas initiated a “thorough review” of the deal, which it said has ultimately led it to the decision to end the production of Yeezy branded goods and stop all payments to Ye and his companies.
Pressure on the brand mounted over recent weeks as the performer continued to stand by anti-semitic remarks and controversial statements he has recently made.
On October 7, Adidas initially announced that partnership was “under review” after Ye took to Instagram to publicly accuse the company of copying his Yeezy footwear styles and releasing designs without his knowledge.
Building tension and backlash
To build on the tension, clips from a now deleted YouTube documentary posted by West showed him seemingly in a meeting with Adidas employees, whose faces had been blurred out.
In the video, Ye could be seen shockingly showing the team a pornographic film in an attempt to draw parrallels to how he felt he was treated by the company.
Ye continued to make controversial headlines over the past month, most notably revolving around a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt the rapper sported at his Yeezy Szn 9 show at Paris Fashion Week.
He went on to make false claims about the death of George Floyd and took to social media to state he was “going to go death con 3 on Jewish People”, among other anti-Semitic comments.
Almost a month after Adidas’ announcement, calls for the brand to cut its ties with Ye heightened after he appeared on a ‘Drink Champs’ podcast, where he stated: “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. What now?”
As a response, the German sportswear company said in its statement: “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.”
The firm went on to note that the termination is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to 250 million euros on the company’s net income in 2022 in light of the high seasonality of the fourth quarter.
Ye has also seen partnerships with Gap, Balenciaga and Vogue fall through since beginning his tirade of hate speech and public accusations.