Following huge pressure, Adidas has announced that “effective immediately”, it has ended its relationship with Kanye West.
In a statement released by the company, it says it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech” and said that his recent comments were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.”
Adidas said they violated the company’s “values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
The company said it would take a “short-term” hit of €250m (£217m) to its income for this year after deciding to stop the brand’s business with immediate effect. It is to end the production of items under West’s Yeezy brand and stop all payments to the musician and his companies.
Adidas has partnered with West since 2013, when the company signed his brand away from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.”
In 2020, the partnership brought in nearly $1.7bn in revenue for Adidas, according to Bloomberg, and was due to expire in 2026.
But Adidas put the “partnership under review” in early October after he wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in public. The Anti-Defamation League categorizes the phrase as a “hate slogan” used by White supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan.
West’s personal fortune is also likely to take a hit, with Forbes reporting the artist is now worth $400m, down from $2bn in the magazine’s billionaires list this year. West has claimed the Adidas deal was worth more than $4bn and Forbes’ calculations were wrong.
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