Why has Adidas terminated Kanye West’s contract? Sports brand cuts ties with Ye
The enigmatic rapper-turned-designer often courts controversy, but went to far with recent anti-semetic remarks and racially insensitive language.
In a statement released on Tuesday morning, sports brand Adidas confirmed that it had cut ties with Kanye West in the light of a series of anti-Semitic and racially insensitive remarks.
West’s ties with Adidas had been one of the most significant in the history of sportswear since his move from Nike, but the partnership has come to an end with a sharply-worded press release from the brand.
It read: “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.”
The German-based company announced that the partnership was cancelled with immediate effect and that it would no longer produce an Yeezy-branded products. The Adidas statement confirmed that the move was expected to cost the company around $246 million on its 2022 net income.
The statement continued: “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.”
The reasons for Adidas’ split from Ye
The 45-year-old has had developed a reputation for making provocative statements, but his headline-grabbing persona overstepped in the mark in recent weeks as he made a number of anti-Semitic remarks.
The artist, now commonly known as ‘Ye’, had his accounts on both Twitter and Instagram restricted earlier this month, after a series of anti-Semitic posts.
In one he said that he was “going death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.”
He even suggested that his fame would allow him to maintain his lucrative deals despite his clearly problematic comments. In a podcast recording earlier this month, he said: “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
At Paris fashion week, West also drew criticism for organising a secret catwalk event in which he included a T-shirt with the slogan ‘White Lives Matter’, which has been linked to far-right groups in the United States.
Before the show, Ye told the audience: “Everyone here knows that I am the leader … you can’t manage me. This is an unmanageable situation.”
The phrase White Lives Matter is categorised by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate statement, because it reframes and undermines the Black Lives Matter movement that campaigns for racial equality. The Anti-Defamation League has noted that antisemitic incidents have been on rise and an antisemitic hate group recently unfurled a banner reading “Kanye is right about the Jews” above a busy Los Angeles highway.
In the light of these comments, a number of Kanye West’s commercial ties have be revoked.