Yeezy shoe sales will go to support an anti-hate group, as Adidas kicks back against their former partner.
In October of last year, Adidas ended their years-long partnership with rapper Kanye “Ye” West over his anti-Semitic statements, including threatening to go ‘”death [sic] con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” on Twitter, which got him banned (his ban has since been rolled back by Elon Musk). Adidas, a German company, immediately began the process of cutting ties.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement at the time. “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.” They also shared that they expected a large drop in income and stock shares due to the decision.
But Adidas still has hundreds of thousands of West’s branded “Yeezy” sneakers in stock, worth over a billion dollars. They froze sales temporarily, but a decision has been made about what to do with the surplus.
The current plan is to sell them in announced online drops, rather than in stores. And for a part of the proceeds of those sales to go to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization formed over a hundred years ago to fight antisemitism.
West is still entitled to his royalties of the sales, but most are in agreement that selling the shoes and using the profits to counter his messages of hate is better than putting them in a landfill just to prevent him from getting the money.
“I would say it’s the best way that they (Adidas) could have possibly handled it,“ said Jeremy Lichtig, campus director of the University of Georgia Hillel, which serves Jewish students. “To make an effort to benefit people hurt by what he said is what we hope good community members would do.”