Kanye West Drew Antisemitic Hate Symbol on Yeezy Shoe in Germany Before His Public Rant
In 2013, the German sportswear company Adidas chalked out a lucrative deal with Kanye West's Yeezy. As per The Cut, West's unstable behavior persisted throughout the ensuing ten years, during which Adidas amassed enormous financial success. The partnership's well-known Yeezy shoes sell more than $1 billion a year. However, the deal ended with West's public anti-Semitic outbursts leading to an instant loss for Adidas. New reports by The New York Times suggest the German brand kept a blind eye towards the famous rapper's unstable behavior early on. Investigative writer Megan Twohey from the publication made an appearance on Friday's episode of The Daily podcast to discuss her findings regarding the collaboration. She narrated a shocking incident that took place during that time, Kanye took a bold stance to make his point because he wasn't happy with the designs that were given to him."To emphasize his frustration, he takes a marker to the toe of a shoe design, and he draws a swastika," Megan revealed.
"Kanye was in Germany...and they're rolling out the red carpet for him," the reporter added. "They're so excited about this budding partnership, and they've assembled shoes and mood boards with inspiration and sketches of designs of what the first shoe could potentially look like." She continued."It was shocking, especially for Germans in the group where it is illegal in many cases to draw or otherwise present swastikas, and this is also especially sensitive for this particular company. The founder of Adidas, like many other businessmen at this time, belonged to the Nazi party," Twohey concluded. Adidas kept doing business with Kanye despite his misdeeds, the company appeared to have adjusted to West's conduct rather than trying to control it, even if they chose to ignore it. However, employees inside the company reported abusive behavior from the Bound 2 rapper, including allegedly telling coworkers that he "admired Hitler's command of propaganda" and urging a Jewish Adidas manager to "kiss a portrait of Hitler" every day.
Adidas and West's collaboration came to an end in 2022 when West made a series of offensive remarks toward Jews in public. According to The US Sun, the Yeezy designer in October 2022 wrote on Instagram: "Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me." Several days later, the rap star tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter: "I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con [sic] 3 On Jewish People." Continuing, the Heartless rapper said that he was not antisemitic since "black people are Jew also" and that he was being targeted by a "Jewish underground media mafia."
After severing ties Adidas put out an official statement: "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." It continued: "After a thorough review, the company has decided to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect. This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to $246 million on the company's net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter."
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