Adidas has ended its partnership with Ye, aka Kanye West, with “immediate effect”.
In a statement Tuesday, the sportswear maker said it “does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech” and said its recent comments were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous”. Adidas said they have violated the company’s “values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness”.
Sales and production of his Yeezy products have stopped, as have payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas said it needs a hit of €250 million ($246 million) for its fourth-quarter sales.
Adidas has partnered with West since 2013, when the company moved its brand away from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most important collaboration ever between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.”
But Adidas posted the “partnership under review” in early October after wearing 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.
Recently, Ye said, “I can say anti-Semitic nonsense and Adidas can’t let me down,” during a rant against Jews on the Drink Champs Podcast. He also threatened on Twitter with “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said Adidas’ decision is a “very positive outcome”.
“It illustrates that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and has consequences. There is no doubt that Adidas did the right thing by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious anti-Semitic rants,” he said in a statement. “Ultimately, Adidas’ action sends a strong message that anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in society.”
He added to CNN earlier Tuesday that he wished it happened sooner, but Adidas “has made a very strong statement to put people above profit.”
Shares of Adidas (ADDDF) fell as much as 5% in Frankfurt. Adidas (ADDDF) said it will release additional information on the financial implications of ending its partnership with Ye in its upcoming earnings report on Nov. 9.
The list of brands moving away from West is growing. Balenciaga and Vogue publicly cut ties last week, and talent agency CAA dropped West as a client on Monday. Production company MRC said it is holding a documentary about West on the shelf.
Also on Tuesday, Gap announced that it is removing Yeezy Gap merchandise from its stores and has closed YeezyGap.com.
“The recent comments and behavior of our former partner underscore why. We are taking immediate steps to remove the Yeezy Gap product,” the retailer said in a statement.
Last month, the rapper said he is ending his troubled two-year relationship with the Gap, citing “significant non-compliance”. Ye said he had “no choice but to end their partnership,” claiming the company had not opened Yeezy stores and distributed its merchandise as planned, his lawyer said in a statement.
Ye’s saga, not just with Adidas but with brands like Gap and Balenciaga, “underlines the importance of vetting celebrities thoroughly and avoiding those who are overly controversial or unstable,” GlobalData president Neil Saunders wrote in a note. Tuesday.
“While there is room for some tension in fashion, it should never cross the line of decency and fundamental respect for humanity. Companies or brands that don’t pay attention to this will be taken aback, especially if they become too dependent on a difficult personality to run their business,” he added.
– CNN Business’ Parija Kavilanz and Jon Sarlin contributed to this report.