Kanye didn’t intend what he said about Jews Adidas CEO says. The CEO of Adidas, Bjorn Gulden, stated that he does not believe Kanye West “meant what he said” when he made antisemitic remarks last year.
Gulden referred to West, also known as Ye, as “one of the most creative people” during a recent podcast interview. Gulden stated that the fact that Ye made the statements “wasn’t that good” and prompted Adidas to breach the contract and pull the product, referring to the end of the Yeezy line.
I do not believe he meant what he said, nor do I think he is evil. “It just came across that way,” said Gulden, a Norwegian whose first language is not English. That meant we lost one of the most successful collaborations in history… how tragic.
Adidas did not respond promptly to a request for comment regarding Gulden’s statements. In November 2022, Gulden became CEO shortly after the partnership with West’s dissolution.
In a different podcast, West ranted against Jews, claiming he “can say antisemitic s*** and Adidas cannot drop me” and threatening to “go death con three on JEWISH PEOPLE” on his X account. His remarks sparked global outrage, and Adidas severed its nine-year business relationship with him a few days later.
After he donned a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in public, Adidas placed the “partnership under review” before his comments. The Anti-Defamation League classifies the phrase as a “hate slogan” employed by White supremacist organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan. After discontinuing the Yeezy shoe line, Adidas suffered a significant financial loss. The company predicted losing $1.3 billion in revenue this year due to its inability to sell Yeezy apparel and footwear.
However, robust sales of remaining Yeezy stock allow the company to recover some of its losses. It anticipates an operating loss of €450 million ($491 million) in 2023, significantly less than the €700 million ($764 million) loss it projected in March.
After Kanye West’s departure, Adidas recently signed a $1.2 billion agreement with Manchester United to find another successful partnership.