Investors sue Adidas over Yeezy partnership with Ye
Adidas is facing a lawsuit from investors who allege the sportswear giant "routinely ignored extreme behavior" of Ye years before it dropped its partnership with the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
Driving the news: Adidas told USA Today Sunday it would fight the lawsuit, which alleges a 2018 report "ignored serious issues" of partnering with Ye by "generally alluding" to risks "rather than stating that the company had actually considered ending the partnership as a result of West's personal behavior."
The big picture: Adidas announced in November of 2013 that it was partnering with the rapper. Two years later, Yeezys made their market debut and soon soared in popularity.
- The class action suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Oregon on Friday, cites several problematic statements that Ye made before Adidas cut ties with him last October after he made multiple antisemitic comments — including claims he made in 2018 that slavery was a "choice" for enslaved people in the U.S.
What they're saying: "We outright reject these unfounded claims and will take all necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them," said Adidas spokesperson Claudia Lange in an emailed statement to news outlets including Axios.
Of note: Adidas chief financial officer Harm Ohlmeyer and the German multinational retailer's former CEO Kasper Rørsted are also named as defendants in the suit.
- Ye is not named as a defendant.
- Adidas did not immediately return Axios' request for comment.
Go deeper: Yeezys were pulled from shelves, but interest remains high