In a shocking new report, the New York Times has detailed years of anti-Semitic behavior from Kanye West, dating back to his very first meeting with Adidas in 2013.
According to former employees, West kicked off his decade-long partnership with Adidas by drawing a swastika out of frustration over the first batch of ideas for Yeezy shoe designs.
“To convey how offensive he considered the designs, he grabbed a sketch of a shoe and took a marker to the toe,” claimed two participants from the meeting. “Then he drew a swastika.”
The alleged act was said to horrify those present due to the fact that the two groups “were meeting just miles from Nuremberg, where leaders of the Third Reich were tried for crimes against humanity.”
Despite West allegedly showing his anti-Semitic views right out of the gate, Adidas continued the relationship while enjoying massive profits from Yeezy designs.
Years after the dramatic first meeting, an employee claimed that West “advised a Jewish Adidas manager to kiss a picture of Hitler every day.”
Other employees recalled West allegedly praising Hitler as a “master marketer” who he “admired” for his “command of propaganda,” which the Nazi leader infamously used to perpetuate the genocide of millions of European Jews during the Holocaust.
In 2018, four years before Adidas finally decided to end the Yeezy partnership, West allegedly admitted to paying a 7-figure-settlement to a former Yeezy chief executive who “accused him of repeatedly praising the architect of the Holocaust.
Adidas apparently chose to look the other way, though a contract renewal in 2016 suggested that the brand was well aware of West’s vile behavior — and the record profits his designs brought the company.
During 2016 contract renegotiations, Adidas agreed to triple West’s guaranteed annual salary while also adding a moral clause to the terms.
West continued to work with Adidas for the next 6 years until his 2022 anti-Semitic firestorm forced the sportswear brand to act.
Gossip Girl Takeaway: It’s shocking that Adidas continued to work with Kanye West for so long, even after he showed his anti-Semitic views right out of the gate. It’s clear that profits were more important to the company than taking a stand against hate.
I hope that this story will raise awareness about anti-Semitism and encourage people to speak out against it whenever they see it. We cannot allow hate to go unchecked.