Kanye West's racist, anti-Semitic rants put Adidas in hot seat to cut ties

Tue, 25 Oct 2022 4:39 GMT
Several other sponsors, Ye's talent agency have dropped musician because of his recent hate speech.
Kanye West's racist, anti-Semitic rants put Adidas in hot seat to cut ties

Sportswear giant Adidas is coming under pressure from high-profile critics to cut ties with musician Kanye West -- now known as Ye -- because of his recent racist and anti-Semitic rants.

"While anti-Jewish acts are at historic levels, Ye is fanning the flames of #antisemitism, & aiding white supremacists & other extremists who see his remarks as a window to spread hate," Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted Monday night.

"Thousands of signatures, and still no word, @adidas? Your silence is a danger to Jews," Greenblatt tweeted earlier in the day. "We can't let Ye's #antisemitism become normalized - we all need to demand Adidas #RunAwayFromHate by condemning his racist rhetoric & re-evaluating their partnership."

Human rights campaigners have called out the German sportswear company for its continued silence over West's recent hate speech that has led other businesses, brands and sponsors to distance themselves from the controversial rapper.

Adidas earlier this month said it was reviewing its relationship with West after he appeared at a fashion show in Paris wearing a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt, which is seen as a right-wing phrase that takes a swipe at the Black Lives Matter movement.

Days later, on Oct. 8, Ye posted a tweet saying he was "going to go death con 3 (sic) on JEWISH PEOPLE" and was subsequently locked out of Twitter and Instagram.

After going on a tirade against Jews during the Drink Champs Podcast earlier this month, West said: “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me."

The sportswear company has not made any public decisions regarding Ye, but others have, including West's talent agency CAA -- one of Hollywood's biggest agencies -- who dropped West on Monday.

Fashion company Balenciaga and Vogue magazine publicly cut ties with Ye last week and production company MRC said it is shelving a documentary on West.

"We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform," MRC said in a statement.

Endeavor Entertainment also called on all companies to cut ties with West.

"Those who continue to do business with West are giving his misguided hate an audience," wrote Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel in the Financial Times. "There should be no tolerance anywhere for West's anti-Semitism."

West's ex-wife Kim Kardashian posted: "Hate speech is never OK or excusable," on her Twitter and Instagram pages Monday, but did not mention West by name.

"I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end," Kardashian continued.

Former NBA basketball star Detlef Schrempf, who used to be sponsored by Adidas, also chimed in on West, who has spoken openly about his struggles with mental illness.

"I represented the 3 stripes during my career & beyond. @adidas needs to make a statement NOW! Suspend any relationship w/@kanyewest until he has received psychiatric help, but why wait? End it now. He won’t change #erasethehate," Schrempf tweeted.


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