Adidas has gone woke; with that, the company is experiencing what it feels like to go broke. In a tale as predictable as any, the company that parted ways with Kanye West and his Yeezy line of clothing over antisemitic comments is now bleeding money and is forced to find a way to discard unsold inventory.
According to Breitbart, Adidas chose to completely cut ties with West, meaning that even the company’s inventory would not be sold to customers. This has led to an estimated 500 euros worth of losses in sales for the clothing giant. Breitbart wrote:
“Adidas has warned that it could experience its first annual loss in 31 years, with the sportswear company projecting a full-year operating loss of 700 million euros, or $739 million, for 2023. The bad financial news comes after Adidas ended its lucrative partnership with Kanye West after the rapper and fashion mogul embarked on an anti-semitic media tour.”
In October of 2022, Adidas released a statement detailing their stance on Kanye West, who had been a significant contributor to the bottom line since their partnership began. Adidas seemed to understand that there would be negative financial ramifications, although its hard to imagine that the company would have made the same decision if they knew it would become this extreme. The statement said, in part:
“adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. 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.
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. adidas will stop the adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.
“This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022 given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter.”
Kanye West was already seen as an eccentric and hard-to-understand figure before the antisemitism derailed his career. What many consider to be the final straw was West’s appearance on Alex Jones’ show, where he professed his admiration of Hitler, according to The American Tribune. Kanye said multiple statements to that effect like:
At one point, for example, he said “Well, I see good things about Hitler, also. Every human being has value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler” after Alex Jones said “You’re not Hitler. You’re not a Nazi.” At another point he said “We gotta stop dissing the Nazis all the time”. There was also this exchange:
Ye: “Hitler had a really good outfit and was a good architect and he didn’t kill 6 million Jews.”
Jones: “I think Hitler did target and kill some people.”
Ye: “I think Obama killed Palestinians. And Obama was not the first black president. He was another Jewish president.”
The company also offered other reasons for its 2022 losses, significantly increased costs in the supply chain and a weakened Chinese market, which presumably stemmed from the lockdowns during the COVID pandemic.
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