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Antisemitism: Adidas cuts ties with US rapper Kanye West

Adidas has cut ties with rapper Ye, known as Kanye West, saying it does “not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech”.

Adidas’s Yeezy brand collaboration with Mr West was put under review, after he showed a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt design at Paris Fashion Week. Days later, the US rapper posted antisemitic comments on his Twitter account.

West products will be pulled from sale with immediate effect, said Adidas.

The sportswear brand has previously said the Yeezy brand collaboration with Ye was one of the most successful in the company’s history.

Cutting the partnership means Adidas will make a net loss of £217m in 2022 as a result, it said.

Ye had previously accused Adidas of stealing his designs, in a now-deleted Instagram post.

In a statement on Tuesday, Adidas wrote: “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.”

Instagram and Twitter suspended Ye’s account in the days following his antisemitic remarks. His business partnerships have also come under increasing pressure: Bank JP Morgan and clothing retailer Gap said in October that they were ending their relationship with Ye.

Ye accused Gap of not honouring terms of their deal, including by failing to open standalone stores for his Yeezy fashion label.

Although Adidas put its relationship under review after Ye showed his “White Lives Matters” T-shirt, the company did not say the collection was the reason for the review.

The phrase Black Lives Matter, which represents opposition to racism and police brutality, was widely used after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020.

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