Adidas has requested a New York federal court to maintain the freeze on Kanye West’s Yeezy brand accounts, amounting to $75M. Ye’s controversial remarks, deemed antisemitic, led the sportswear brand to seek arbitration to terminate their lucrative partnership, resulting in this legal action.

Kanye West


Unbeknownst to Kanye, court documents obtained by Law360 reveal that Adidas was granted permission on November 11, 2022, to freeze approximately $100 million in Yeezy brand accounts. The freeze was a result of the rapper’s controversial and anti-Semitic remarks, causing widespread controversy.

The judge’s decision was made, ex parte, meaning Kanye’s was not present nor was he provided with an opportunity to respond or contest the legal order. 

Adidas has sought to uphold the $75 million freeze through their request to a New York federal court. 

Following the termination of his partnership with Adidas, Kanye shared his concerns about the freezing of his bank accounts in an interview with celebrity gossip outlet X17 in late 2022. He expressed suspicions about Adidas’ involvement in the freeze and linked it to his decision to run for president again in 2024:

“I went from being a multi-billionaire to not even being able to use my Apple Pay four nights ago, Kanye remarked. “I couldn’t use my Apple Pay because somehow Adidas was able to legally go in and freeze my money, and when I see this, I think, well, if this could happen to me, this could happen to other Americans, and for what? You know this can happen to an American that didn’t even steal anything, that didn’t even hurt anyone. This could just happen to you for saying the wrong idea out loud.”Kanye emphasized the need for legal reforms to protect Americans’ rights and finances, highlighting the potential vulnerability of individuals who express controversial ideas. The repercussions of his remarks continue to impact his personal and business affairs, as exemplified by the ongoing legal disputes with Adidas and Gap.

Updated By: Nicole Bartley (5/26/23)

Adidas has announced its decision to donate the proceeds of unsold Yeezy shoes to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This move comes as part of the sportswear company’s effort to redeem itself after severing ties with rapper Kanye West following his controversial anti-semitic remarks on Twitter in October 2022.

Updated By: Chris Samuel (5/22/23 at 2:21 pm)

Adidas has taken a significant step by pledging to donate to charitable organizations to recover from the fallout with Kanye West. The company has chosen the Anti-Defamation League as one of the beneficiaries of the proceeds from unsold Yeezy shoes.

Adidas’ decision to part ways with Ye stemmed from his offensive anti-semitic remarks during a Twitter rant. The brand faced financial consequences following the controversy, prompting them to cut ties with the rapper.

Apart from the Anti-Defamation League, Adidas has also committed to donating to The Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change. This organization, founded by George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, aims to bring about social change. 

In May 2020, George Floyd tragically lost his life when Minneapolis ex-cop Derek Chauvin suffocated him by restraining him with his knee on the back of his neck. This incident sparked widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

In 2022, Kanye faced criticism for his comments suggesting that Floyd’s cause of death was drug-related, leading to legal action from Floyd’s family. However, in 2020, Kanye West donated $20 million to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, demonstrating his support for the victims of racial injustice.

In addition to the donations, Adidas plans to sell the remaining inventory of Yeezy products this month. The company currently holds around $1.3 billion worth of unsold Yeezy items since severing ties with the rapper-turned-mogul in October 2022.

Adidas, the renowned sportswear brand, has made an announcement that they will be selling the remaining inventory of unsold Yeezy shoes and donating the proceeds to charitable organizations. This decision comes after Adidas cut ties with Kanye West following his antisemitic rant on Twitter in October 2022.

Updated By: Chris Samuel (5/12/23 at 3:21 pm)

Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden emphasized the importance of finding solutions and stated that burning the shoes is not the answer. The specifics regarding the sales amount and shoe quantity will be disclosed in future updates.

Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden acknowledged the challenges faced by the company after severing ties with Kanye West. In a statement made during the Adidas shareholders meeting, Gulden expressed the company’s dedication to finding solutions. 

Instead of resorting to destructive measures like burning the unsold Yeezy shoes, Adidas has decided to sell the remaining inventory and contribute the proceeds to organizations that were affected by West’s remarks.

In a shareholder meeting today, adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden shared that the company wants to sell parts of the Yeezy inventory and donate to organizations. Gulden also stated that burning the product “is not the solution.”

No timetable or process has been set on how adidas plans to…

— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) May 11, 2023

By selling the unsold Yeezy shoes, Adidas aims to generate funds that will be donated to Jewish charitable organizations. The exact sales and the number of shoes have yet to be revealed. 

Adidas has made a firm commitment to providing updates in due course. This initiative not only demonstrates Adidas’ dedication to rectifying the situation but also signifies their support for philanthropic endeavors.

Meanwhile, Kanye West has set up Yeezy offices adjacent to a local Adidas store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, leading some fans on social media to speculate that he is “trolling” his former partners. The move comes after Ye’s departure from Gap, which resulted in a decline in the company’s stock shares. 

Adidas is facing legal action from shareholders who are suing the company for not cutting ties with Kanye West earlier due to his alleged extreme behavior and antisemitism. This latest setback adds to the sportswear giant’s woes as it struggles to maintain its market position after cutting ties with Ye.

Updated By: Chris Samuel (5/1/23 at 12:00 pm)

Adidas shareholders have sued the company over its failed Yeezy partnership with Kanye West. The lawsuit alleges that Adidas knew about West’s “extreme behavior” and “antisemitism” but did not sever ties with the controversial rapper sooner. They added that Adidas’ failure to act has damaged its reputation and financial performance.

The legal action covers anyone who purchased an Adidas share between May 3, 2018, and 2023, and names Adidas CFO Harm Ohlmeyer and former CEO Kasper Rørsted as defendants. 

In a comment to CNN, Adidas stated, “We outright reject these unfounded claims and will take all necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them.” 

Adidas hoped its partnership with West would boost sales and help the brand compete with rival NIKE. However, the Yeezy line could have performed better after Adidas cut ties with West, resulting in a $540 million loss.

West is no stranger to controversial statements and actions. During his 2020 presidential campaign, he faced widespread criticism for suggesting that slavery was a choice. Additionally, a former employee has accused West of failing to fully compensate them, resulting in a lawsuit.

In a recent interview, West spoke about his controversial comments regarding Black people and Jews. He claimed he was misunderstood and intended to bring people together rather than divide them. His comments were criticized by many, however, Jewish media professional Jonathan Hay stepped in and defended West.

Adidas has recently warned that the company could possibly suffer its first annual operating loss in 31 years since severing ties with Kanye West. According to the sportswear brand, it may have to write off the entire range of Yeezy-branded merchandise.

Since Ye’s business fallouts due to his comments deemed antisemitic, it appears his ex-partners are experiencing a difficult time. German sportswear brand Adidas announced that it may face an operating loss of $736 million, which would mark its first in 31 years.

The predicted plummet would be a result of a potential $527 million hit due to unsold Yeezy stock, including strategic review costs, according to CNN reports. On Wednesday, March 8, Adidas shares dropped 2.2% after publishing its 2022 results, which Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer refers to as a “disappointing year.”

“We definitely did not perform as we should have performed,” Ohlmeyer admitted after presenting the results. Still, Adidas is hoping for a positive turning point this year.

Updated By: Nicole Bartley (3/8/23 at 1:45 pm)

Several companies such as JP Morgan, Adidas, and Balenciaga have cut ties with Kanye West since his 2022 remarks were deemed antisemitic. However, since Ye’s partnership terminations, it seems those companies are also experiencing financial and reputational issues.

Since late 2022, Kanye West has lost several business dealings. Now, it seems those same companies are experiencing financial or reputational troubles since letting him go. 


2022: JP Morgan bank cut ties with Kanye for anti-Semitism

2023 : JP Morgan is accused of being involved into the child trafficking of Jeffrey Epstein

— Donda Times (@dondatimes) February 16, 2023

In October 2022, Ye shared a series of tweets that were deemed antisemitic. The controversial tweets led the rapper and fashion entrepreneur to be cut by major companies, including his legal team.  

Kanye’s former bank, JP Morgan Chase cut ties with him for publicly criticizing the company.  Less than four months after dropping the Yeezy mogul, former JP Morgan Chase executive Jes Staley’s alleged sexually explicit emails exchanged with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was revealed, according to a CNN report. 

In an investigation from the US Virgin Islands government, Staley exchanged over 1,000 emails from his JP Morgan Chase email account with Epstein between 2008-2012, while he was under investigation for child sex trafficking. Staley would visit Epstein’s Virgin Islands residence while Epstein was incarcerated as well.

French designer brand Balenciaga cut ties with Kanye in October due to Kanye’s controversial comments. That following month, Balenciaga dropped their holiday campaign featuring children holding teddy bears in bondage harnesses and sexually explicit costumes, according to a report from The New York Times

The company was accused of pedophilia, and #cancelBalenciaga later trended on Twitter.   Balenciaga responded by issuing an apology statement on their Instagram story. 

“We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being,” the statement read. The campaign was also removed from their official website. 

Kanye also lost his deal with Adidas in October 2022.  Since Ye was released in October, the sports apparel brand could lose over $1 billion in revenue in 2023. 

The loss of revenue mostly involves the decrease in his Yeezy brand shoes, one of the company’s most popular products.  In the past,  Kanye expressed his frustrations with Adidas for making business decisions without his permission and also threatened to take them to court. 

Kanye has not publicly commented on any of the companies’ current controversies. 

A new documentary and podcast about Kanye West is on the way and will be released by the British network, BBC.

The documentary or podcast does not have a release date but will focus on Kanye’s life, music career, and controversy surrounding his comments that were deemed antisemitic.

Originally Written By: Chris Samuel (2/20/23 at 1:29 pm)

  • Nicole Bartley

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