Adidas and Other Influential Brands Drop Kanye West

By Leila Rocha

Kanye ¨Ye¨ West has been making headlines a lot over the past couple years. From his break up with Kim Kardashian to now much more serious reasons, inexcusable hate speech. His latest has been directed towards the Jewish community. On twitter, he said words much too disgusting to repeat, proving himself anti-Semitic. Now, he is facing major consequences. 

Although social media outlets Instagram and Twitter made sure to block West from the platforms, Adidas took a while to cut West off, enough time for him to make a disturbing statement on October 16 , “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” Now, West has been dropped. On October 25, Adidas announced that they severed ties with West,  “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism 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.¨

Adidas, a German Brand founded in 1949, was actually founded by someone who belonged to the Nazi Party, Adi Dassler. Josef Schuster, head of Central Council of Jews explained, ¨The historical responsibility of Adidas lays not only in the German roots of the company, but also in its entanglement with the Nazi regime. I simply expect such a company to take a strict position regarding antisemitism.¨ 

The New York Times suggests that Adidas ending business with West is, ¨ending what may have been the most significant corporate fashion partnership of the rapper and designer´s career¨. Additionally, Adidas is now expected to face a financial impact up to $246 million this year, and West is no longer a billionaire. 

Adidas was not the only major company to get rid of West´s influence. Gap has now stopped selling Yeezy´s in their stores after their inventory is sold out stating, ¨Antisemitism, racism, and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values.¨

MRC has also reportedly shelved a documentary revolving around West regardless of its finished status. Executives released an open letter on October 24 detailing, ¨Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3000 years-the lies that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain. This song was performed acapella in the time of the Pharaohs, Babylon and Rome, went acoustic with The Spanish Inquisition and Russia´s Pale of Settlement, and Hitler took the song electric. Kanye has now helped mainstream it in the modern era.¨ 

Chief executive of the American Jewish Committee, Ted Deutch explained, ¨He [West] believed that as long as the money kept rolling in he could speak with impunity. Other companies that profit from associating with West must also disabuse him of that notion.¨ 

In conclusion, Adidas dropping West made a large impact on their business, however no amount of potential money loss should ever stop such an influential brand from standing up for what is morally right. Moreso, such influential people, in this case Kanye ¨Ye¨ West, should not put out harmful statements. 

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