Leadership of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus held a press conference Monday calling on Adidas to sever ties with rapper Ye — also known as Kanye West — over his antisemitic threats to kill Jews.
The call came just hours before the German company announced it will terminating its partnership with the rapper immediately and take a financial hit of $250 million.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the German company said.
Following a weekend in which antisemitic banners amplifying Ye’s death threats were draped over an overpass in Los Angeles and some 25 flyers blaming gun control on Jewish people were disbursed in Beverly Hills, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat from Woodland Hills, and Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, issued a statement of condemnation.
“Words have consequences. Kanye West threatened Jews, and now other extremists are openly threatening our Jewish community with hateful banners on the 405 freeway and distributing appalling antisemitic propaganda in our neighborhoods,” the statement reads.
“We are proud to be Jewish and we will not remain silent when hatred and bigotry are openly directed at our Jewish community or any other community in California. Any company — including Adidas — that continues to do business with Kanye West is party to this attack on Jews. It is morally indefensible to turn a blind eye to antisemitism and to put profits over the safety of Jews or others targeted by hate,” the statement continued.
“We are grateful to those who have spoken out in solidarity with our Jewish community. Together, we will build a stronger and safer state.”
Also on Monday, Rep. Karen Bass, the L.A. mayoral hopeful, called for Adidas to cut ties with West.
“We must all condemn the hate spewed by Kanye West, which has real consequences that we saw in Los Angeles this weekend,” Bass tweeted, referring to the antisemitic demonstration on the freeway overpass.
“Until they sever ties, Adidas is enabling and financing his hate — they must act now,” she posted.
Updated at 7:00 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022