“While I wish they did it sooner, Adidas—to their credit—made it abundantly clear that they would not do business with bigots,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Thursday.
The sporting goods giant Adidas, which recently ended its “Yeezy” brand partnership with the rapper Ye (formerly Kanye West) over his series of anti-Semitic comments, is donating more than $1 million over four years to the Anti-Defamation League and partnering with the organization an anti-bigotry education.
Adidas and ADL are embarking on “a formal partnership to combat anti-Semitism and hate in sports,” in which they will design a new anti-bigotry curriculum for student athletes as well as efforts engage professional athletes in fighting hate, a spokesperson for ADL told eJewish Philanthropy on Thursday.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt had initially called out Adidas for its delayed response to Ye’s anti-Semitism before the company eventually dropped its partnership with the embattled record producer.
“While I wish they did it sooner, Adidas—to their credit—made it abundantly clear that they would not do business with bigots,” Greenblatt said Thursday. “And today I am so pleased that they are here at Never Is Now (an ADL conference in New York City) to announce an incredible commitment that demonstrates that their dedication to fighting anti-Semitism will last long beyond this moment.”
Adidas North America President Rupert Campbell said, “There is no place for anti-Semitism, racism and hatred in sport, within Adidas or within society. We acknowledge that we don’t always get things right. We are not perfect. But in this case, we know without a doubt we made the right decision. The racist and anti-Semitic hate speech by our former partner violated our values.”
In order to sever ties with Ye, Adidas surrendered $2 billion in annual revenue—approximately 40% of its profits. The performer’s net worth dropped from $2 billion to $400 million after Adidas ended the Yeezy partnership, Forbes reported.