It seems like Adidas is attempting to compensate for its delayed action in severing business connections with Kanye West after his anti-Semitic outburst last year.
The German athletic apparel and footwear company, which holds the title of the biggest sportswear producer in Europe, has decided to allocate a portion of its forthcoming profits from its Yeezy merchandise to the Anti-Defamation League and other charitable organizations that focus on combating discrimination and promoting inclusivity, including racism and anti-Semitism.
According to TMZ, the company is anticipated to initiate the sale of its remaining Yeezy sneakers and other inventory items in the coming days. This will mark the first opportunity for consumers to purchase Yeezy products since October 25, when Adidas terminated its business relationship with the rapper and entrepreneur.
Adidas faced criticism for not ending its partnership with West earlier, as some critics pointed out that he had already started making offensive rants and accusations on social media and in interviews several weeks prior in October.
Adidas initially formed a partnership with the Atlanta native back in 2013, and the two parties later negotiated a deal in 2016 that was described by USA Today as the "most significant partnership ever established between a non-athlete and an athletic brand."
In addition to the Anti-Defamation League, the Yeezy sell-off will benefit the Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change. Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, established this institute.
According to The Huntington News, the Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change strives to provide resources to underfunded communities, similar to the ones where Philonise Floyd and George Floyd were raised. The institute also aims to combat injustice and promote social equality.
The exact amount of money that will be donated to the charities is uncertain. However, what is known is that Adidas estimates approximately $1.3 billion worth of Yeezy products remaining after the company terminated its partnership with the controversial rapper.
The controversy surrounding the fallout between West and the business started when he and some of his models showcased a shirt during his Yeezy Paris Fashion Week show on October 3. The shirt displayed the phrase "White Lives Matter" on the back, which sparked significant controversy and backlash.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the phrase 'White Lives Matter' has been adopted by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement. The center identifies it as a slogan associated with extremist ideologies.
The controversy surrounding Kanye West did not end there. After the initial incident, he further expressed his views by doubling down on his comments on Instagram. Additionally, he used antisemitic rhetoric in his posts on Twitter and during interviews, intensifying the controversy surrounding his remarks.
One of the most notorious posts made by West was a tweet that seemed to contain threats directed at Jewish individuals. This tweet was posted shortly after his Instagram account was restricted due to content perceived by some users as antisemitic. The tweet attracted significant attention and further escalated the controversy surrounding his statements.
"I'm a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I'm going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE," he began in the controversial post on October 8, 2022.
"The funny thing 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," he wrote in one of his first tweets in two years.
The post, which drew criticism from several Jewish organizations, was subsequently removed by Twitter for violating its rules.
West's statements regarding George Floyd's tragic death in Minneapolis in May 2020 were highly controversial and drew significant attention.
West made controversial claims regarding George Floyd's death during his appearance on the Drink Champs podcast. He asserted that Floyd died from 'fentanyl' and suggested that the police officer's knee 'wasn't even on his neck like that.' As reported by NME, these remarks garnered attention and sparked further debate and scrutiny.
West made these comments when discussing Candace Owens's documentary titled The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd And The Rise Of BLM.
The public's response was swift, and several companies, including The Gap, Balenciaga, and others, decided to terminate their relationships and brand deals with West.