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After dropping Ye, Adidas to partner with ADL on anti-bigotry education

“While I wish they did it sooner, Adidas—to their credit—made it abundantly clear that they would not do business with bigots,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Thursday.

Kanye West. Source: Twitter.
Kanye West. Source: Twitter.

The sporting goods giant Adidas, which recently ended its “Yeezy” brand partnership with the rapper Ye (formerly Kanye West) over his series of anti-Semitic comments, is donating more than $1 million over four years to the Anti-Defamation League and partnering with the organization an anti-bigotry education.

Adidas and ADL are embarking on “a formal partnership to combat anti-Semitism and hate in sports,” in which they will design a new anti-bigotry curriculum for student athletes as well as efforts engage professional athletes in fighting hate, a spokesperson for ADL told eJewish Philanthropy on Thursday.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt had initially called out Adidas for its delayed response to Ye’s anti-Semitism before the company eventually dropped its partnership with the embattled record producer.

“While I wish they did it sooner, Adidas—to their credit—made it abundantly clear that they would not do business with bigots,” Greenblatt said Thursday. “And today I am so pleased that they are here at Never Is Now (an ADL conference in New York City) to announce an incredible commitment that demonstrates that their dedication to fighting anti-Semitism will last long beyond this moment.”

Adidas North America President Rupert Campbell said, “There is no place for anti-Semitism, racism and hatred in sport, within Adidas or within society. We acknowledge that we don’t always get things right. We are not perfect. But in this case, we know without a doubt we made the right decision. The racist and anti-Semitic hate speech by our former partner violated our values.”

In order to sever ties with Ye, Adidas surrendered $2 billion in annual revenue—approximately 40% of its profits. The performer’s net worth dropped from $2 billion to $400 million after Adidas ended the Yeezy partnership, Forbes reported.

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