Sportswear company, Adidas has with immediate effect, ended its partnership with Ye, also known as Kanye West, over his offensive and anti-Semitic remarks, costing him a spot on the Forbes Billionaires list.
During a tirade against Jews on the Drink Champs Podcast, Ye said, “I can say antisemitic s*** and Adidas cannot drop me”. He also threatened on Twitter to “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
As Ye’s series of anti-Semitic comments received criticism from the highest echelons of Hollywood, pressure on Adidas to cut relations with him increased. Adidas remained silent for several weeks until announcing on October 6 that their relationship with Ye was “under review.”
In a statement released by the German sports apparel company, it ultimately ended its partnership with the rapper, stating that “Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other sort of hate speech. 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 declared in a press release.
“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. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
Sales and production of his Yeezy branded products have stopped as well as payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas said it will take a €250 million hit ($246 million) to its fourth quarter sales.
Adidas contract termination will cost them much, but Ye will suffer far more, as almost immediately, Ye lost a spot on the Forbes Billionaires list.
Shares of Adidas (ADDDF) fell as much as 5% in Frankfurt. Adidas said it will release additional information about the financial implications of dissolving its partnership with Ye in its upcoming earnings report on November 9.
Ye on the other hand would be worth $400 million without Adidas. According to Forbes, Ye’s music library, real estate, cash, and a 5% ownership position in his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian’s shapewear company Skims make up the rest of his wealth. (A Skims source informed Forbes that Ye hasn’t been associated with the company since the brand’s 2019 launch.)
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 recent times, the list of brands distancing themselves from West is growing. Balenciaga and Vogue publicly cut ties last week, and on Monday, talent agency CAA dropped West as a client. Production company MRC said that it’s shelving a documentary on West.
Also on Tuesday, Gap announced it was removing Yeezy Gap merchandise from its stores and has shut down YeezyGap.com.