It’s been a week since Kanye West, also known as Ye, went on the Drink Champs podcast for a controversial 45-minute conversation. And there have been some repercussions.
West’s claims that George Floyd was not murdered by police officers, but died from fentanyl use, has inspired a $250 million lawsuit from the surviving family. The appearance, which included a litany of antisemitic conspiracy theories, was also the last straw for Balenciaga and its parent company Kering, which severed all ties with West.
The German multinational sportswear company Adidas had already stated that their distribution deal of Kanye’s Yeezy line was “under review” following the star’s appearance in a “White Lives Matter” shirt, but many are asking just what the heck is taking so long.
The Drink Champs appearance was so chock-a-block with startling statements that it took a few days for one short aside to bubble its way up through the sludge and get attention on social media. On Friday, the former NBA player and current Twitter influencer Rex Chapman signal boosted a 13-second clip isolated by an account called @StopAntisemitism that has since received a great deal of commentary. In it, West boasted that his relationship with Adidas is such that “I can literally say antisemitic shit, and they can’t drop me.” After a dramatic pause, West lowered his voice and repeated ominously, “I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League urged the company to break ties with West. “In light of Kanye West’s increasingly strident antisemitic remarks over the past few weeks, we were disturbed to learn that Adidas plans to continue to release new products from his Yeezy brand without any seeming acknowledgment of the controversy surrounding his most recent remarks,” they wrote in a statement. They continued, “We urge Adidas to reconsider supporting the Ye product line and to issue a statement making clear that the Adidas company and community has no tolerance whatsoever for antisemitism.”
The #BoycottAdidas hashtag was trending on Saturday morning, with many scratching their head over how Adidas seems to be standing by their man. Josh Gad, Alexander Vindman, Rosanna Arquette, and screenwriter Randy Mayem Singer were among the many who directed queries to Adidas. David Schwimmer did the same on his Instagram Stories.