Ye's Yeezy Brand Gets Adidas Sued

Shareholders claim sportswear company ignored risks of partnership with rapper
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
Investors Sue Adidas Over Ye's Yeezy Brand
Boxes containing Yeezy shoes made by Adidas are seen at Laced Up, a sneaker resale store, in Paramus, NJ, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Investors unhappy with how the Adidas-Ye partnership played out are suing the sportswear company. They say Adidas had known how risky its deal with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West could be—years before it ultimately cut ties with Ye—and yet didn't take precautions to limit its financial losses should the partnership come to a bad end, USA Today reports. The class action lawsuit covers anyone who bought Adidas stock between May 3, 2018 (the day Ye said in an interview that slavery "sounds like a choice") and Feb. 1, 2023, the Guardian reports. Adidas cut ties with Ye in October over his antisemitic comments, and has warned it could lose up to $1.3 billion on unsold products from his Yeezy line.

The lawsuit claims Adidas execs started talking internally about the dangers of continuing to partner with Ye in 2018, but that that year's annual report "ignored serious issues" regarding shareholders' potential risks by "generally alluding" to those risks "rather than stating that the company had actually considered ending the partnership as a result of West’s personal behavior." The suit also accuses Adidas of failing to disclose antisemitic comments Ye had made in front of Adidas staff. It says the company "routinely ignored" the rapper's "extreme behavior," and only ended the partnership after weeks of outcry over the fact that it hadn't yet, the Hill reports. "We outright reject these unfounded claims and will take all necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them," Adidas' vice president of external communication says. (More Adidas stories.)

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