Ye, then known as Kanye West, holds up Yeezy sneakers as he speaks onstage at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in 2019.

People are calling for Adidas to end their relationship with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in response to numerous offensive and anti-Semitic comments the rapper has made in recent weeks.

Ye has faced some consequences for his comments: both Twitter and Instagram have restricted his accounts (now says he plans to buy Parler, a far-right friendly social media site) and fashion house Balenciaga is reportedly cutting ties with him. The prominent Hollywood agency CAA, which has represented Ye since 2016, ended its relationship with him this month, on Los Angeles Times reported Monday noon.

The German shoe giant said earlier this month that are The partnership was under review, but has since issued no updates and continues to release new Yeezy merchandise, even as the rapper doubles down on anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories.

He appeared to brag about that fact in an Oct. 16 episode of the podcast that has since been deleted. baby champions, a clip of which It has been widely circulated on social media in recent days.

“The thing about me and Adidas is that I can literally say anti-Semitic things and they can’t let me,” Ye says, before repeating himself slowly and solemnly. “I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can’t let me. Now what? Now what?”.

That question was ominously answered over the weekend, when a group of people hung anti-Semitic banners. — including one that read “Kanye is right about the Jews” — and raised their arms in an apparent Nazi salute on a busy Los Angeles freeway. One banner used the name of an organization that has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League as an antisemitic hate group. Authorities are also investigating anti-Semitic fliers distributed in Beverly Hills that same weekend.

Those incidents come at a time of rising anti-Semitism in the US, as the ADL points out in a campaign urging people to “tell Adidas to run from hate.”

“While Adidas has refused to condemn Kanye West’s anti-Semitism, hate groups such as White Lives Matter and the Goyim Defense League are celebrating and promoting Ye’s comments to further their extremist agendas,” the organization wrote, calling his behavior ” dangerous”.

Dozens of critics are now urging Adidas to drop Ye and distance himself from his hateful views. His current contract is said to run until 2026.

More than 90,000 people have signed a petition on urging the company to cut ties with Ye, and the hashtag #BoycottAdidas has been trending on Twitter for days. Public figures from David Schwimmer to Alejandro Vindmann They called Adidas, and United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer reportedly issued a company-wide memo condoning anti-Semitism and urging employees to “support the boycott of Kanye West.”

Adidas did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for comment.

Adidas and Ye have collaborated for almost a decade.

Adidas and Ye, who launched their first Air Yeezy sneakers with other brands, have been working together since 2013 and formalized their partnership about two years later.

The Yeezy collaboration is best known for its sneaker line, but also includes apparel, lingerie and other footwear. And it’s lucrative: It brings in about $2 billion a year, almost 10% of the company’s annual revenue, as Morningstar analyst David Swartz told The Washington Post..

Ye has become increasingly vocal in his criticism of Adidas and its leadership in recent months, accusing it of copying his ideas and not giving him enough control over the line. (He ended his association with The Gap in September over similar claims.) He also posted photos of Adidas board members on social media, including a doctored image of a New York Times page that falsely claimed that outgoing CEO Kasper Rorsted had died.

Earlier in October, Ye made headlines for a series of controversies, including wearing a “WHITE LIVES MATTER” T-shirt to her fashion show in Paris and vowing to go “death with 3 over JEWISH PEOPLE.” » in a series of anti-Semitic social media posts. .

Adidas told the media on October 6 that it was evaluating its partnership with Ye.

“After repeated efforts to resolve the situation privately, we have made the decision to review the partnership,” he said in a statement, adding that he and Ye would continue to jointly manage Yeezy’s clothing and shoe lines during the hearing process. previous.

Ye, whose net worth is estimated to be around $2 billion, would almost certainly lose his billionaire status if the company left him, according to Forbes..

Adidas launches new Yeezy products

To the dismay of critics, Adidas has not only kept quiet about Ye, but continues to release new products from their collaboration.

Despite calls growing for Adidas to get rid of Ye, and for consumers to get rid of Adidas, the company released the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 in an all-new colorway (“salt”) over the weekend. They appear to be out of stock on the Adidas website, and by Monday morning they had been bought and resold nearly 900 times on the Stockx online reseller market.

In an open letter to Adidas leadership, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt says the group is particularly alarmed to see that the company plans to launch new Yeezy products (including the Yeezy Boost 350) in the run-up to the 27th anniversary. october. the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history.

“…We are shocked and concerned that Adidas, a brand that supports inclusion and diversity, continues to not only support the Ye product line, but also launch new products, even as it continues to espouse hateful anti-Semitic ideas to its 31 million followers on Twitter. Twitter. , and as those harmful ideas spread on social media and around the world thanks to his huge media presence and celebrity status,” he writes.

The ADL, which has tracked and analyzed Ye’s recent comments, is urging Adidas to reconsider its support for the Yeezy line and publicly condone anti-Semitism.

Some on social media have expressed surprise that Adidas has not moved quicker to make such a statement, given some of the darker parts of its past: Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, the feuding brothers who collectively founded Adidas and Puma, were Nazi members. Match during World War II.

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