Not only has the deal between Kanye West and Adidas went sour, but the company’s dark past has come to light in the process.
In a turn of shocking events, it’s been revealed that one of the founders of the famous footwear and apparel brand, Adolf “Adi” Dassler, has a pre-WWII connection to Nazism.
Dassler founded the company with his brother Rudolf in 1920s Germany. While the company predates the rise of prominent Nazi figure Adolf Hitler, the brothers would eventually go on to join the Nazi party in the 1930s. Adi, would also eventually become an athletic coach for the Hitler Youth.
After the war, the brothers became rivals — Adi launched Adidas, while Rudolf launched the athletic shoe brand Puma. While some fans were shocked to learn this history, others pointed out the irony of its partnership with Ye in light of his recent comments.
Yo, @adidas Not great optics for a company with Nazi history to be backing an antisemite. Just FYI
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) October 25, 2022
Hilarious fun fact: “Adidas” is a neologism of Adi Dassler, the company’s founder, who joined the German Nazi Party in 1933 and made his initial fortune by supplying athletic shoes to the Hitler Youth https://t.co/BfdnJjnGvf
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) October 25, 2022
The fact that adidas’s literal nazi roots are being revealed for millions of people for the first time today is a proof that ye is hurting their brand
— socialist boomer (@SocialistBoomer) October 24, 2022
You’d think it would be a no-brainer for a German company founded by someone convicted of being a Nazi collaborator at Nuremberg –– Adidas –– to dissociate itself instantly from Kanye West.
— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) October 25, 2022
It seems Adidas didn’t like their Nazi origin story being spread far and wide. They get no respect here. They were fine with Kanye when he was shitting on black ppl and stalking his ex-wife.
— Akilla Cooper (@AkelaCooper) October 25, 2022
Adidas finally cut ties with the rapper after facing increasing public pressure for West’s antisemitic comments, particularly after West said on the Drink Champs podcast earlier this month, “I can say antisemitic sh*t, and Adidas cannot drop me.”
The company issued a public response saying it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech” and that Kanye’s comments were “unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect, and fairness.”