Bigotry is costly. Just ask Kanye West, aka Ye, who was dumped by Adidas, a German sportswear company founded by a Hitler supporter, on Tuesday, due to his antisemitic remarks. Gap and Foot Locker said they’d remove Ye items the same day.
Forbes reports the Adidas drop cost Ye $1.5 billion of his net worth.
Antisemitism is proving commercially — and socially — untenable. That’s why two well-known athletes, National Basketball Association and National Football League stars, respectively, left Donda Sports, an agency founded by Ye.
“I have always, and will always, continue to stand strongly against any anti-Semitism, hate speech, misrepresentation, and oppressive rhetoric of any kind,” Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown stated.
“In light of that, after sharing in conversations, I now recognize there are times when my voice and my position can’t coexist in spaces that don’t correspond with my stance or my values. And, for that reason, I am terminating my association with Donda Sports,” said Brown.
In addition, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said Ye’s remarks “are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children. As parents and members of society, we felt a responsibility to send a clear message that hateful words and actions have consequences, and that we must do better as human beings,” Donald said.
“We do not feel our beliefs, voices and actions belong anywhere near a space that misrepresents and oppresses people of any background, ethnicity or race. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many incredible people along the way and hope to continue to use our platform to uplift and support other families, children and communities through positive outreach,” he said.
West tweeted on Oct. 8: “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” He later said: “I can say antisemitic s*** and Adidas cannot drop me,” during a rant against Jews on the Drink Champs podcast. As West continued to double down on his hate speech, Adidas, which had previously dismissed athletes for drug use, said it would put the matter “under review.” Outside pressure forced its hand.
Also on Tuesday, the film and television studio MRC announced it will halt plans to distribute its recently completed Kanye West-themed documentary.
Ye’s former talent agency, CAA, no longer represents him.
Adidas partnered with West nine years ago, when it wrestled his brand from Nike. In 2016, Adidas called it “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand,” reported CNN Business.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate.
(Additional reporting provided by JNS Reporter)
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