Kanye West’s remarks about slavery have continued to cause a negative reaction and now a petition is calling for Adidas to end its partnership with the rapper.
On Tuesday, May 1, West appeared on “TMZ Live” and declared, “You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sound like a choice. Like, you was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison.”
The reaction has now spurred a Care2 petition that calls on the German apparel brand to “rethink their lucrative deal with West after his jaw-dropping outburst.”
“While Kanye can live safely in his multi-million dollar castle, the rest of Black America is continually marginalized and subject to unjust laws and treatment,” the request states. “Some even die because this behavior is so ingrained in our society.”
It continued by saying West “has a right to free speech, and he has the right to spout lies and misinformation and misplaced opinions — but we as consumers have the right to fight back against this type of dangerous propaganda.
“That is why Care2 is asking Adidas to drop their partnership with Mr. West and tell the world they do not want anything to do with anyone who believes that millions of Africans chose to toil the fields in bondage for 400 years.”
The petition has reached more than half the signatures needed to reach the goal of 10,000 signatures and will be sent to Adidas once the goal is met.
West’s partnership with the brand began in 2014 and after the debut of Yeezy Season 1 in 2015, Adidas announced it would only produce footwear rather than apparel and fashion shows, according to High Sobriety. After rumors of friction cropped up over West’s penchant for Vans, he and Adidas got back on track and the company, which began selling non-footwear items, too, saw shares of its secondary sneaker market grow from 1 percent to 30 percent thanks to Ye’s Yeezy’s.
The MC recently tweeted about his company’s success, saying the company would reach the $1 billion mark this year.
“It is the 2nd fastest growing company in history,” he said April 25. “It is a unicorn on its way to becoming a decacorn,” which is a company valued at over $10 billion.
We have 160 positions to fill by the end of the year. Yeezy will hit a billion dollars this year. It is the 2nd fastest growing company in history. It is a unicorn on its way to becoming a decacorn.
— ye (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Nonetheless, signers of the petition, which West has yet to respond to, hope to hault Ye’s progress.
“Disrespectful to the proven thru history enslaving of people …and I’m sure it was by choice. I feel bad for the descents hearing this being said..no more product buying associated with Kanye West,” someone commented.
“At the very least drop him. Kanye, you need professional help. Get it,” said another.
“I think it was totally disrespectful and Adidas should not endorse him,” said a separate signee.
However, Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted told Bloomberg Thursday, May 3 the company has not discussed parting ways with West. But Rorsted, who said they will have discussions, did distance himself from the rapper’s slavery remarks.
“There clearly are some comments we don’t support,” he said on a call before saying on TV that, “Kanye is a very important part of the Adidas brand.”