Adidas officially cut ties with Kanye West on Tuesday, as a result of his recent anti-Semitic rhetoric, putting an end to a business relationships that has been lucrative for both parties.
Adidas said the relationship ended because the organization “does not tolerate antisemitism,” according to The Guardian. This announcement comes just days after the organization issued a statement declaring that its agreement with West was “under review.”
The company has ceased the production of all Yeezy products and will no longer pay West for his contributions to the brand, citing his “hateful and dangerous” commentary, according to The Guardian.
Adidas ends partnership with Kanye West and the Yeezy brand due to his recent anti-Semitic and bigoted comments and actions. https://t.co/fGruOCv2d6
— TMZ (@TMZ) October 25, 2022
Pressure was mounting for Adidas to join the ranks of Balenciaga, GAP and JPMorgan Chase, all of which severed ties with the rapper and business mogul after his spate of inflammatory statements, according to The Guardian.
West has been at the center of controversy since Oct. 3, when he wore a shirt with the slogan “White Lives Matter” at Paris Fashion Week. He followed that up with an Oct. 8 tweet announcing his intent to go “death con 3 [sic] on JEWISH PEOPLE,” which prompted Twitter to lock his account. West has doubled down on his anti-Semitic remarks in subsequent interviews.
Adidas said West’s comments “violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” according to The Guardian.
The German sportswear giant is taking a huge financial hit, with estimates suggesting their partnership with West brought in an estimated $1.7 billion in revenue for Adidas in 2020, according to Bloomberg.
Adidas expects to take a short-term $250 million hit to their earnings by halting production immediately, The Guardian reported.
West signed a deal with Adidas in 2013 and launched the first Yeezy show in 2015. A surge in sales of the Yeezy brand ultimately propelled West to billionaire status, according to The Guardian. (RELATED: Kanye West Dropped By Touring Agency)
Adidas to drop Kanye West after his anti-Semitic outbursts: report https://t.co/N078dM6FPi pic.twitter.com/37ADW1ST4z
— New York Post (@nypost) October 25, 2022
All traces of Yeezy sportswear, jackets, shoes and merchandise have been scrubbed from the Adidas website upon news of their relationship with West coming to an official close, according to The Guardian.
During an Oct. 16 podcast interview, West expressed confidence that Adidas would not drop him no matter how inflammatory his statements became. “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” West said, according to Yahoo.