According to a new report, the global athletic brand’s executives in Bavaria, Germany made the decision to cut ties with Ye after an “undramatic” two-minute phone call made to two U.S.-based law firms representing the company. Adidas had been consistently searching for a way to sever their business partnership with the YEEZUS rapper for months. They were hesitant to do so, even with his antisemitic tirades causing a massive backlash for fear of legal issues.
“Some of the company’s top executives hesitated because they first wanted to obtain opinions from outside law firms in the US that if Adidas went ahead with the termination of the Ye partnership, it wouldn’t be deemed as an obstruction of an ongoing court mediation process,” Bloomberg reported. Others within the company felt his remarks demanded an immediate severing of ties.
The report goes on to state that there had been a section of employees at adidas who had disdain for West since 2018 when he began to sport the MAGA hat synonymous with right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump. This was fueled in 2020 by the combination of what some Black employees felt was the marginalization of their presence and adidas’ reluctance to speak on Ye’s controversial statements on slavery.
The rapper’s behavior was also a constant source of grief for those at the company, with one example being his showing of an adult film during a meeting with executives. Ye had also constantly demanded a seat on the brand’s supervisory board. Industry experts say that the Yeezy line at adidas constituted more than 40% of the company’s profits, resulting from $1.8 billion in sales annually.
Morgan Stanley’s estimate of adidas’ loss for the year after the termination of the deal is $246 million. While adidas offered no comment after their statement on Oct. 25, it is believed that there will be more information provided on Nov. 9. Adidas will still sell the popular sneakers, as it retains all rights to the designs and will do so under its name beginning in 2023.