Cut ties with Ye’s Yeezy

Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 9, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Evan Agostini | Vision | PA

The Anti-Defamation League is urging Adidas to sever ties with Ye, calling his recent hateful comments in a letter to Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted and Chairman Thomas Rabe.

The rapper and designer, formerly known as Kanye West, has made several demeaning remarks about Jews in recent weeks and targeted his business associates with public threats. In September he parted ways with retailer Gap, and earlier this month Adidas announced it was reviewing its relationship with Ye.

In the meantime, however, the retailer said it will “continue to co-manage the current product” of Ye’s Yeezy brand, according to an Oct. 6 statement.

“In light of Kanye West’s increasingly vociferous anti-Semitic remarks over the past few weeks, we were disturbed to learn that Adidas planned to continue releasing new products from its Yeezy brand without any apparent acknowledgment of the controversy. surrounding his most recent remarks,” the ADL said. letter reads.

“We urge Adidas to reconsider its support for the Ye product line and issue a statement making it clear that the company and the Adidas community have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism,” the letter reads.

Adidas did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Ye first partnered with Adidas in 2013, but recently said he believes the company stole his ideas and didn’t give him enough control over the Yeezy brand. He posted photos attacking Adidas board members on his social media, and in early September posted a doctored image of a New York Times front page falsely claiming that Rorsted had died.

In recent days, Ye’s comments have escalated to include threatening and hateful comments about Jewish people. Twitter and Instagram have both suspended him from the platforms. On Monday, right-wing social media company Parler said Ye had agreed to buy the app.

The ADL compiled a list of what it considered Ye’s recent harmful comments.

“At a time of rising anti-Semitism, where incidents in the United States have reached an all-time high in 2021, such statements are more than damning – they are dangerous. … We hope more businesses, d “Individuals and political leaders will act to show that there will be consequences to such hateful rhetoric and that they are not letting Ye’s anti-Semitism pass,” the statement said.

Adidas recently said its collaboration with Ye was one of the most successful for the brand to date.

Morningstar analyst David Swartz estimates that Yeezy sales for Adidas are around $2 billion a year, potentially representing 10% of total Adidas sales. The retailer does not report Yeezy-specific sales figures.

“Ten years ago, Adidas was struggling in the United States, the largest sportswear market. Thanks in part to Yeezy, its U.S. business rebounded,” Swartz said. “It’s helped bring relevance back to his business in North America, and it’s made Adidas relevant in the collector market and probably allows him to hit a demo he missed.”

On Thursday, Adidas separately announced preliminary third-quarter results in which the retailer lowered its full-year 2022 guidance due to deteriorating traffic trends in China and a large inventory build-up amid consumer demand. decreased in the main Western markets.

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