Kanye West, the fashion maverick and rap superstar, has made some rather, shall we say, unusual career choices. The New York Times just dropped a bombshell, revealing that his history with Adidas isn’t just about designing sneakers; it’s about questionable choices and a bizarre sense of humor.
Apparently, Kanye’s initial meeting with Adidas in 2013 left a mark – quite literally. The Adidas team was excited to showcase their sneaker ideas and fabric swatches, but Kanye wasn’t having it. In a move that could be deemed “bold” or “completely bananas,” he grabbed a sketch of a shoe and, wait for it, drew a swastika on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The employees were left with jaws on the floor, probably because they were miles away from Nuremberg, where the Third Reich faced justice for crimes against humanity. Talk about bad timing!
But that’s not the end of the bizarre tale of Kanye’s affinity for controversy. Behind closed doors, he apparently had an unsettling fascination with none other than Adolf Hitler. Yes, the guy responsible for, you know, the Holocaust. He allegedly told co-workers that Hitler was a “master marketer” and admired his “command of propaganda.” Just when you thought Kanye’s creativity was confined to music and fashion, he throws in his admiration for a dictator. Role model material? Not so much.
And it gets weirder. In later interactions with Adidas, he supposedly advised a Jewish manager to kiss a picture of Hitler daily. Imagine getting that advice at your job! Unsurprisingly, this weird obsession led to allegations of antisemitism. Kanye even considered naming one of his albums “Hitler” at one point. Luckily, it ended up being “Ye,” but still, talk about a close call.
So, what did Adidas do about all this bizarre behavior, you ask? Well, they did give Kanye a hefty raise during contract negotiations in 2016. However, they did insert a morals clause into the contract. But, they didn’t pull the trigger on it until last year when public rants made it clear that Kanye was venturing into antisemitic territory. Better late than never, right?
Adidas has since cut ties with Kanye, stating that they have “no tolerance for hate speech and offensive behavior.” But if this report is to be believed, they might have had a little too much tolerance for the maverick artist’s eccentricities. Their new CEO even suggested that Kanye didn’t “mean what he said.” All in all, this whole saga is just plain awful, especially for the poor employees who had to endure this madness. Kanye, you truly are one of a kind!
Good to speak with @Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden this morning. Bjorn apologized for his misstatement & reiterated that Adidas is committed to fighting #antisemitism & is completely opposed to the ugly hate expressed by @kanyewest. Glad Adidas, @ADL & @FCASorg are working together to…
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) September 21, 2023