Shoes are offered for sale at an Adidas store in Chicago, Feb. 10, 2023.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden defended Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, and said the rapper didn’t mean it when he made a series of antisemitic remarks.
In a conversation on philanthropist Nicolai Tangen’s podcast “In Good Company,” Gulden was asked about the retailer’s partnership with Ye and how its Yeezy collaboration fell apart. Gulden told the audience that Adi broke the contract because of some comments made by Ye. “Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he intended what he said. I don’t believe he is a bad man — it just came off that way,” he continued.
Last autumn, the German shoe giant announced it would end its lucrative partnership with Ye after he made a number of widely criticized remarks about Jews. “I’m a little sleepy tonight, but when I wake-up I’m going to death con 3 on JEWISH people,” Ye wrote, in a now deleted post, on Oct. 9, 2010.
soon followed suit and announced they would pull Yeezy products from their stores.
Foot Locker and Gap soon followed suit and announced they would pull Yeezy products from their stores.
Gulden, who was named CEO of Adidas about a month after the scandal unfolded, called the company’s breakup with Ye “very sad” because it meant that the retailer “lost that business,” which he described as one of the most successful collaborations in history. “You know that when you work with a third party, this could happen. You know it’s a part of the game.”
Gulden said that it could happen to an athlete or an entertainer. It’s all part of the game. Gulden had called Ye earlier in the show “one of most creative people on the planet” both in terms music and street-culture. Adidas’ spokesperson said that despite the comments made by its CEO, the company’s stance on Ye has not changed. “
CEO Bjorn Gulden defended Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, and said the rapper didn’t mean it when he made a series of antisemitic remarks.
“Ending the partnership was appropriate,” the spokesperson said.