Adidas drops Ye from partnership following antisemitic remarks - USA TODAY

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Staff and wire reports  |  USA TODAY


Adidas has ended its partnership with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, over his offensive and antisemitic remarks.

They are the latest company to cut ties with Ye and a decision that the German sportswear company said would hit its bottom line.

Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “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 company faced pressure to cut ties with Ye, with celebrities and others on social media urging Adidas to act. It said at the beginning of the month that it was placing its lucrative sneaker deal with the rapper under review.

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Adidas said Tuesday that it conducted a “thorough review” and would immediately stop production of its line of Yeezy products and stop payments to Ye and his companies. The sportswear company said it was expected to take a hit of up to 247 million dollars to its net income this year from the move.

Ye boasted in an October 16 episode of "Drink Champs" that he "can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can't drop me."

The brand promised to give more information about the decision on Nov. 9.

In recent years, Ye has stirred controversy. In October, he was criticized for wearing a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt to his Yeezy collection show in Paris.In 2018, he suggested slavery was a choice and in 2020, he called the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast,” among other comments. In unaired footage obtained by Vice from Ye's interview with Tucker Carlson earlier this month, the rapper revealed he was vaccinated against COVID-19.

Adidas joins other companies to end connections with Ye. He has also been suspended from Twitter and Instagram over antisemitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies.

Ye’s talent agency, CAA, dropped him, and the MRC studio announced Monday that it is shelving a complete documentary about him.

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The Balenciaga fashion house cut ties with Ye last week, according to Women’s Wear Daily. JPMorganChase and Ye have ended their business relationship, although the banking breakup was in the works even before Ye’s antisemitic comments.

In recent weeks, Ye has also ended his company’s association with Gap and has told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers.

After he was suspended from Twitter and Facebook, Ye offered to buy conservative social network Parler.

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Demonstrators on a Los Angeles overpass Saturday unfurled a banner praising Ye’s antisemitic comments, prompting an outcry on social media as celebrities and others said they stand with Jewish people.

On Monday, Ye's ex-wife Kim Kardashian seemingly responded to the demonstration by tweeting, "Hate speech is never OK or excusable."

"I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end," she added, although she did not specifically reference Ye.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Silverman and John Legend were among some of the first celebrities to reprimand the rapper for his hate-fueled rhetoric

"A threat to Jewish people ended once in a genocide. Your words hurt and incite violence. You are a father. Please stop," Curtis tweeted earlier this month after Ye said he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to the U.S. military readiness condition scale known as DEFCON.

In the same tweet, which has since been removed by Twitter, he said: “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

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Meanwhile, Silverman questioned why Ye's tweet didn't get bigger traction. "Kanye threatened the Jews yesterday on twitter and it’s not even trending," she tweeted. "Why do mostly only Jews speak up against Jewish hate? The silence is so loud."

Ye's former friend John Legend seemingly addressed his social media comments on Oct. 9, tweeting, "Weird how all these 'free, independent thinkers' always land at the same old anti blackness and anti semitism."

Contributing: Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

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