Adidas is facing a lawsuit from investors who allege that the company ignored problematic behavior from rapper Kanye West prior to terminating their partnership.
Last October, after a decade-long collaboration with the sportswear giant, West lost his deal with Adidas due to a series of antisemitic comments made on social media.
In response, Adidas declared that they would immediately end their partnership with West, halt production of Yeezy branded products, and cease all payments to the rapper and his companies.
The German label also announced an anticipated short-term negative impact of up to £217m on the company’s net income.
Investors are now suing Adidas, claiming that the company failed to disclose the risk of terminating their partnership with West.The claimants assert that Adidas was aware of the musician’s views long before the partnership was ended, citing reports of West making antisemitic comments in front of Adidas staff and suggesting that one of his albums be named after Adolf Hitler.
The abrupt termination of the partnership resulted in Adidas facing £1.1 billion worth of unsold stock and a £444 million operating profit loss this year.
Adidas rejects these claims and vows to take necessary measures to defend themselves against them. They state that they did not ignore West’s problematic behavior and assert that they terminated the partnership immediately after conducting a thorough review.
Despite the termination of his Adidas deal, West’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, made it onto Forbes’ billionaire list, along with other celebrities such as Rihanna. West himself dropped off the list.
While not connected to the Adidas lawsuit, West is facing other legal challenges. He is being sued by two former teachers from his private Christian school, Donda Academy, for wrongful termination and discrimination.
Court documents allege that children at the school were fed just one meal a day, sushi was served to students sitting on the floor, and the teachers were subjected to racial discrimination and illegal withholding of wages. Representatives for West have not yet commented on the matter.