The controversy surrounding Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) continues, as Adidas announced the company is officially severing its ties with the rapper and designer. The sportswear giant put the “partnership under review” earlier this month after Ye debuted his “White Lives Matter” t-shirt, but his recent press tour full of antisemitic (among other) conspiracies has seen many organizations disentangling themselves from the artist for good.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company announced in a statement this morning, per CNBC. “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.”
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies,” the statement continued. “Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
Adidas joins a number of Ye’s former partners and allies—including CAA, Vogue, Balenciaga, and Def Jam Recordings—in ending its relationship with the Grammy winner. The brand faced increasing public pressure to do so, including calls for a boycott. According to CNBC, the German company further reported it expects to lose 250 million euros–or $246 million–on net income in 2022 due to the decision; shares have already apparently dropped 5% in Frankfurt.
Nevertheless, Ye’s Drink Champs assumption that “I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me” has apparently proven false after all. Though he can be forgiven for believing that, as for years his behavior has descended towards this inevitable conclusion with little to no consequence. As some critics have pointed out, his financial partners largely turned a blind eye when the issue at stake was anti-Blackness: from co-opting the Confederate flag, to claiming “slavery was a choice,” to this month’s White Lives Matter shirts. Ideally, the line would have been drawn against his behavior long before it reached this inevitable conclusion, but severing ties now seems like a necessary step to mitigate further harm.