Adidas announced the end of its partnership with Kanye West on Tuesday morning after weeks of mounting pressure over the rapper’s antisemitic remarks and other controversies like his White Lives Matter shirt debuted at Paris fashion week.
Adidas is the latest corporate partner that has severed ties with Kanye over the last week. A mere day before the Adidas announcement, MRC announced that the rapper’s documentary will be shelved, while less than a week ago, Balenciaga ended its deal with Kanye. Gap has also ended the rapper’s deal after the rapper’s White Lives Matter statement tees, a slogan that is associated with white supremacists.
The rapper has not apologized for the remarks and continues to do interviews where he has doubled down on his anti-Jewish sentiments. For Kanye West, the end of his Adidas deal means the end of his billion-dollar partnership that was signed about a decade ago and actually helped to raise his financial status from bankrupt to billionaire.
The Adidas partnership saw the rapper designing sneakers and clothing, particularly hoodies, through his Yeezy brand. Last month, Kanye went off on a rant at Adidas as he attacked executives of the company and claimed that they ripped off his designs and had been producing his goods in China.
The company was also accused of breaching its contractual obligations with Yeezy as it failed to open more brick-and-mortar stores across the United States, Kanye claimed. He also claimed that as a result of the contract breach, his Yeezy brand had failed to appreciate and earn billions of projected income by 2025.
In a statement on Tuesday, the company said Kanye’s statements violated the values of Adidas.
“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 statement read.
In the meantime, the termination of the partnership is effective immediately and will see production and payments to Kanye ceasing.
As for how the end of the deal will affect Adidas, the company stands to lose approximately U$246 million from its profit by the end of 2022, while the stock price dropped by 20% over the last month, a decline that is attributed to consumer pressure on the company due to Kanye’s continued association.
Kanye West has not commented on the end of any of the deals. Earlier this month, the rapper was booted by JP Morgan Chase, the first company to end its business relationship with the rapper over his antisemitic remarks.
Earlier this week, notable talent agency CAA dropped Kanye as a client. As of now, Kanye’s documentary with Netflix will continue as scheduled.
In the meantime, the move by Adidas is also significant as the company is required by German law to practice good corporate responsibility.
Kanye West is currently still doing interviews, although most major mainstream media outlets have declined to interview him, given his unpredictability in making offensive comments. Drink Champs and other podcasts have removed their recent interviews and others edited out major parts to avoid backlash.