Adidas will launch an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing against Kanye West, with whom the company had a partnership that ended in October.
In a statement released Thursday, Adidas said “it is currently not clear whether the allegations in an anonymous letter are true. However, we take these allegations very seriously and have made the decision to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to address the allegations.”
The statement follows an article in Rolling Stone which reported that Adidas board members ignored inappropriate behavior by the rapper, who legally changed his name to Ye, in the partnership with his Yeezy brand.
Rolling Stone says it received a letter sent by former senior Yeezy employees to board members on Tuesday about “the toxic and chaotic environment that Kanye West created.” The letter went on to say, “This type of response from a brand partner is one that Adidas employees should never be subjected to, nor should Adidas management ever tolerate.”
Adidas ended its partnership with Ye after he made a series of anti-Semitic remarks in recent months. In late October, West addressed the anti-Semitic comments — as well as what he has said about George Floyd and Black Lives Matter — in a 16-minute video shared by WmgLab Records on YouTube and apparently recorded sometime after Adidas ended its business relationship. with him.
“I think Adidas felt like, because everyone was getting into me, that they had the right to just take my designs,” West told a small group.
In the video, West did not apologize for his anti-Semitic remarks, but appeared to try to distance himself from any “hate group.”
“I have no affiliation with any hate group,” West said as he ended his remarks in prayer. “If any hatred happens to a Jewish person, it is not connected (gestures to himself) because I require everyone to walk in love.”
Adidas had partnered with West since 2013, when the company signed his brand away from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.”
West does not currently have an attorney or publicist representing him in this case.
— CNN’s Dan Heching contributed to this report