Adidas becomes the latest and perhaps most significant company to cut ties with rapper and fashion entrepreneur, Kanye West following his anti-Semitic comments. The Adidas contract termination removes him from the Forbes billionaires list having accounted for about one and a half of his overall net worth.
The German sportswear company made this public on Tuesday, October 25th after increasing pressure from anti-racist groups, several legal organizations, and even its employees. The statement reads: “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.”
“After a thorough review, the company has decided to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
Earlier this month, Kanye West tweeted to say he was “going death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE” before alleging he wasn’t “anti-Semitic because black people are Jews also.” In the now-deleted tweet, he added: “You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” The comment received a lot of backlash from a large group of people including his ex-wife leading to a restriction on his Instagram and Twitter accounts for breaking the hate speech rule.
In response, Kanye had said he will buy the social media platform Parler, which poses itself as a “viewpoint-neutral social media app dedicated to freedom of expression, civil discourse, and user privacy” and gone ahead to challenge Adidas on the Drinks Champ Podcast saying: “I can say anti-Semitic s* – and Adidas cannot drop me.”
He has worked with Adidas since 2013 on his Yeezy line. With the contract gone, Ye is no longer a billionaire as the $1.5 billion value of the Adidas deal was calculated off of a multiple of annual earnings. Kanye now has a total net worth of 400 million dollars as opposed to the $2 billion before the termination of the Adidas deal.
The German company also announced it is expected to lose approximately $246 million in net income in 2022 after parting ways with Kanye West, while Bloomberg reported its shares fell by much as 4.5 percent on Tuesday morning, its lowest since 2016.
Adidas is not the first noteworthy organization to severe partnership with Kanye due to his anti-Semitic remarks. Kering, the parent company of luxury fashion house Balenciaga told Women’s Wear Daily that it has severed ties with Ye. His talent company Creative Arts Agency (CAA) dropped Ye last month, and TV studio, MRC has said they do not intend to complete the documentary they shot with him.
The rapper has taken action to apologize to those who he offended. On the Piers Morgan Program, he stated that the tweet intended to refer to Defcon 3. Defense readiness condition (Defcon), a five-level readiness alert system used by the US military and went on to tender an apology to the people that he hurt and the confusion he’s caused.