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Adidas Officially Ends Partnership with Kanye West

Earlier this month, the brand behind the lucrative Yeezy footwear line announced they were placing their collab with the rapper “under review.” Now, Adidas is done with Kanye West.

Adidas has formally ended its long-term partnership with Ye, better known as Kanye West, with “immediate effect.” On Tuesday, the Bavaria-based sportswear staple issued this statement:

“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 news follows mounting pressure on Adidas over the past several days to cut ties formally and permanently with the increasingly controversial rapper and entrepreneur.

The company also said sales and production of his Yeezy products have ceased, as well as payments to Ye and his companies. For severing ties with Ye after nearly a decade of collaboration, Three Stripes said it will take a €250 million hit ($246 million) to its fourth-quarter sales.

The decision comes after growing pressure from members of the Jewish community, allies, and anti-discrimination groups seeking action from the company after the rapper unleashed a string of antisemitic remarks over the last several weeks, including on his own social media channels. On a now-deleted appearance on the podcast “Drink Champs,” Ye even tested the strength of his remarks regarding his relationship with Adidas, claiming he could “say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me.”

Earlier this month, Adidas confirmed they were placing their collab with the embattled musician “under review.” As a portion of that news release read:

“The Adidas Yeezy partnership is one of the most successful collaborations in our industry’s history. We are proud of our team that has worked tirelessly throughout our collaboration with Ye and the iconic products that were born from it. We also recognize that all successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values.”

During the review process, a chorus of critics placed Adidas’ apparent silence squarely in the crosshairs.

The 24-time Grammy winner began criticizing Adidas earlier this year when Ye claimed the company made creative decisions about the direction of the Yeezy brand without his blessing. In September, Ye personally attacked outgoing CEO Kasper Rørsted, calling the Adidas exec “dead” in a now-deleted Instagram post.

Adidas joins a number of business partners that have distanced themselves from the artist in recent days. Balenciaga, The Gap, Vogue, and Def Jam Records have all confirmed they’re no longer working with the Chicago native, as have his lawyers and his talent representation at CAA. Production company MRC also said that it’s suspending a documentary project on West.

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today and, most recently, Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.