Anti-Semitism: Adidas boss regrets controversial comments about rapper Ye
The head of the AdidasKanye West
Björn Gulden, head of the three-stripes brand, regretted what he described as an “erroneous statement” on his part. He shared his regrets with the head of a major anti-Semitism association (ADL, Anti-Defamation League). The latter, Jonathan Greenblatt, made the apology public on Thursday evening in a message on X (formerly Twitter
Björn Gulden drew criticism after a podcast entitled ‘In Good Company’ last week, in which he said that Kanye West, now known as Ye, didn’t really mean the anti-Semitic statements he made last year.
Among other public blunders, Ye wrote on Twitter in autumn 2022 that he was going to attack Jews in a post that has since been deleted by the microblogging site.
This controversy led the equipment manufacturer to abruptly end its lucrative collaboration with the rapper and his “Yeezy
Adidas is “totally opposed to the abhorrent hatred expressed by Ye” last autumn, reaffirmed Björn Gulden in his apology.
The Norwegian arrived at the head of Adidas at the beginning of the year and inherited this case, which has tainted the group’s reputation and finances. Stopping the sale of Yeezy trainers resulted in a loss of revenue of €1.2 billion.
“Our decision to end our partnership with Ye because of his unacceptable comments and behaviour was absolutely the right one,” said an Adidas spokesperson in a message sent to AFP on Friday.
“Our position has not changed: hate of any kind has no place in sport or society, and we remain determined to fight it,” added the source.
Adidas has started to sell off some of the Yeezy stocks it has taken off the shelves. The first wave in May generated around €400 million in sales, and the results of a second operation in August will be announced at a later date.
Part of the revenue generated, i.e. €110 million, went to associations fighting racism and anti-Semitism, including ADL, as announced earlier by Adidas.