Adidas is standing by Kanye West, despite the rapper’s controversial comments regarding slavery, the company’s CEO Kasper Rorsted told Bloomberg that they hadn’t even discussed dropping him as a designer or brand ambassador.
“We neither comment or speculate on every single comment that our external creators are making,” he said. “Kanye has been and is a very important part of our strategy and has been a fantastic creator. That’s where I’m gonna leave it.”
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) May 3, 2018
However, Rorsted distanced himself from certain remarks. “There clearly are some comments we don’t support,” he said, according to the report. West made headlines with a statement about slavery on TMZ earlier this week. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years — 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said.
As noted, West remains an important part of adidas’ strategy. Last year, his involvement helped make them the No. 2 brand in U.S. sports footwear in front of Jordan and behind Nike.
Despite all of this, many called on adidas to cut ties with West following his controversial remarks. Earlier today, Bloomberg published an op-ed about why the company “should drop the rap star and focus on Reebok.”
Additionally, Care2 launched a petition for the company to drop West due to his controversial comments. “Kanye West has a right to free speech, and he has the right to spout lies and misinformation and misplaced opinions,” reads the petition site. “But we as consumers have the right to fight back against this type of dangerous propaganda.” 8,537 supporters signed the petition at press time.