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Adidas terminates partnership with Kanye West after antisemitic remarks

Sportswear brand Adidas on Tuesday ended its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after the rapper made a series of offensive and antisemitic comments.

The musician and fashion designer made a string of antisemitic comments and used a slogan associated with white supremacists that garnered him widespread criticism.

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Kanye West
Adidas cuts ties with Kanye West following rapper’s antisemitic remarks

The company said in a 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.”

“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 Kanye West and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”

It said this would have a short-term negative impact of up to 250 million euros ($246 million) on net income in 2022 due to high seasonality in the fourth quarter.

It added that it was the “sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership” and would provide more information during third quarter earnings on Nov. 9.

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The German sportswear giant had faced pressure from the public and its own employees to cut ties with Kanye West , who said on a podcast on Oct. 16: “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”

Calls on Adidas had also come from at least three legal organizations, as well as anti-racism groups. A petition set up by the Campaign Against Antisemitism urging Adidas to sever ties with Kanye West had gathered 169,100 signatures by Tuesday morning.

Talent agency CAA confirmed it had dropped Ye as a client Monday, and he was let go by Balenciaga last week.

The German company began working with Ye in 2013, and in 2016 signed a deal to manufacture and distribute items from his Yeezy clothing line. Adidas has previously said the partnership has had a “tremendous impact” on its business and is one of the most successful collaborations in the history of its industry.

READ ALSO :Kanye West defends ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt in Tucker Carlson interview

The Yeezy brand makes nearly $2 billion a year for Adidas, 10% of its revenue, according to Morningstar analyst David Swartz.

“It has been an important product line for Adidas and has helped bring its North America business back to relevance. It has made Adidas relevant in the collectors’ market and probably allows it to reach a demo that it has missed,” Swartz previously told CNBC.

“Adidas struggles to compete with Nike for top sponsorships, so Yeezy was one big advantage,” he added.

In a note Tuesday ahead of the announcement, analysts at Credit Suisse laid out various risks to the company, including a recent profit warning that was greater than expected.

READ ALSO :Justin Bieber cuts ties with Kanye West for attacking wife Hailey

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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