Kanye West Not Condemned By Adidas CEO Despite Company Terminating Its Partnership w/ Rapper Due To His Antisemitic Remarks: ‘I Don’t Think He Meant What He Said’
Things may have left off on a sour note between rapper Kanye West and Adidas, but it’s (seemingly) all sweet on the sports brand’s end these days!
During a recent interview, Adidas CEO, Bjørn Gulden, opened up about his current stance on their previous collaboration with Kanye West.
If you recall, Kanye West’s uber-successful Yeezy partnership with the apparel company abruptly ceased after he made a series of antisemitic remarks last year.
Amid the controversial tirade, the 45-year-old accused Jewish people of controlling the media, and having a secret “agenda.” He even sent out a threat to the ethnoreligious group.
In a tweet posted to his then-Twitter account (now known as X), the “Donda” lyricist said,
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE. The funnything is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also. You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Along with GAP, the athletic wear retailer wasted no time pulling the plug on West’s business deal, which he wasn’t too happy about.
However, when recently asked about their fallout with the celebrated producer/rhymer, Bjørn Gulden –who became Adidas’ CEO shortly after the infamous situation — made it clear that there aren’t any hard feelings. Additionally, he (seemingly) doesn’t think West’s comments were meant to be discriminatory.
Bjørn Gulden expressed:
“Well, this [was] before my time [at the company]. I think Kanye West is one of the most creative people in the world–both in music and what I will call street culture. So, he’s extremely creative and has–together, with [Adidas]–created a Yeezy line, which was very successful.”
“He [made] some statements, which wasn’t that good. That caused [Adidas] to break the contract.”
Gulden furthered this by alluding to being disappointed by the split as it was one of the best Adidas had ever led this far.
“[It’s] very unfortunate because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person. [It] just came across that way. And that meant… we lost that business. You know, one of the most successful collabs in the history. Very sad! But, again, you know, when you work with third parties, that could happen, and you know… it’s [a] part of the game.”
While the fashion industry (of course) was shaken by the Adidas x Yeezy breakup, at least, they agreed to sell the leftover inventory and donate proceeds to charity.
According to Gulden, back in May, he said in a shareholder’s meeting that the merchandise would still be put to good use.
As for West, last month, he was seen performing with Travis Scott in Rome, which was his first since the antisemitic ordeal. No word on whether he grabbed an old pair of Adidas x Yeezys from the dressing room to rock on stage for the sake of old times or not.
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