Adidas to donate Kanye West Yeezy profits to charity fighting antisemitism

Adidas has confirmed that proceeds from the sale of their remaining Kanye West Yeezy shoes will benefit organisations fighting antisemitism.

Last year, Adidas cut ties with West and his Yeezy brand after the rapper shared a string of hate-fuelled rants aimed at the Jewish community.

“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,” said Adidas at the time.

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Earlier this month, Adidas’ CEO Bjørn Gulden said that the decision was “hurting” the business and revealed they would be selling the remaining stock [worth an estimated £960million], with proceeds set to be donated to the organisations “that help us and were harmed by what Ye said”.

Kanye West
Kanye West. CREDIT: Timothy Norris/Getty Images

It’s now been confirmed that proceeds will go to “leading anti-hate organisation” The Anti-Defamation League which is the “global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens”.

The Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, which was founded by George Floyd’s brother Philonise, will also receive money from the sale of Yeezys. The organisation works “to eliminate the daily impacts of police brutality, criminal justice reform and systemic racism,” and was set-up following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

At the end of last year, West claimed that Floyd’s death was caused by drugs before later apologising for the comments.

According to Adidas, the company will partner with the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute For Social Change “to drive Community programs through sport and education, working together to leave a lasting legacy”.

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“After careful consideration, we have decided to begin releasing some of the remaining Adidas Yeezy products,” Gulden in a statement. “Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organisations and stakeholders we spoke to. There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind and we remain committed to fighting against it.”

The move was praised by the Anti-Defamation League, with CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt releasing a statement that read: “At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels in the U.S. and is rising globally, we appreciate how Adidas turned a negative situation into a very positive outcome. They have shown real thoughtfulness in engaging with community organisations working to combat this pernicious and stubborn hatred.”

“Their leadership, in not only condemning anti-Jewish hate but lending their support for education and other initiatives, is exemplary and a model for other public companies to emulate. We thank them for their ongoing dialogue around their remaining inventory and their vested interest in tackling issues of prejudice and hate.”

As recently reported by the BBC, West will still be entitled to some of the proceeds from the sale of the Yeezys, under the terms of the partnership. The sale will begin at the end of the month.

The broadcaster also reported that Adidas is being sued by investors who claim that the brand knew about West’s problematic behaviour years before it ended their partnership. In response, Adidas said it rejected “these unfounded claims”, adding that it would take “all necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them”.

Earlier this month it was claimed that West had opened a new Yeezy office in Los Angeles, next door to a building owned by Adidas.

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