Adidas CEO Doesn’t Think Kanye West ‘Meant What He Said’ With the Whole Antisemitism Thing |

Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden says Kanye West didn’t mean what he said about Jewish people.

via: Rolling Stone

Gulden addressed Kanye West’s infamous deluge of antisemitic comments and dubious claims about George Floyd’s murder in a new interview, saying: “I don’t think he meant what he said.”

Gulden made the comments during an interview on the In Good Company podcast last week. He did condemn West’s various remarks from last year, saying, “He made some statements which wasn’t that good, and that caused [Adidas] to break the contract and withdraw the product.”

He continued: “Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person. It just came across that way.”

Gulden did praise West as “one of the most creative people in the world, both in music and what I would call street culture.” He also lamented the dissolution of the Yeezy collaboration, which, as he noted, was “one of the most successful collabs in history.”

But, he said, “When you work with third parties, it’s part of the game. That can happen with an athlete, it can happen with an entertainer. It’s part of the business.”

As Rolling Stone reported last year, long before West was wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts at fashion week, casting doubt on the cause of Floyd’s death, and spouting conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the entertainment and sports industries, the Yeezy/Adidas partnership was marred by a toxic work culture. One employee reported hearing West say that “skinheads and Nazis were his greatest inspiration,” while a former senior Adidas exec recalled hearing West make similar comments.

The Yeezy partnership was terminated last October, and in the aftermath, Adidas was not only forced to confront hundreds of millions in lost sales but a reported $1.3 billion in unsold Yeezy stock. Eventually, the company decided to sell the leftover sneakers and donate the proceeds to charities and non-profit organizations “that help us and were harmed by what Ye said. The first batch of shoes went on sale in May, reportedly raking in $437 million; a second batch went on sale in August.

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