Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden defends Kanye West over antisemitism

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By Dan Sears

Adidas’ top executive doesn’t believe Kanye West “meant what he said” about Jews, adding that the rapper who goes by the name “Ye” is “one of the most creative people in the world” and isn’t a “bad person.”

Bjørn Gulden, the 58-year-old CEO of the German-based apparel giant, lamented that it was “very unfortunate” that the multinational brand was forced to cut ties with Ye and discontinue their Yeezy partnership in the wake of his antisemitic comments last year.

“Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person. It just came across that way,” Gulden told the “In Good Company” podcast last week.

“That meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history…very sad,” Gulden said of the fallout of Ye’s comments.

Gulden’s remarks were reported by CNN.

The Post has sought comment from Adidas.

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Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden weighed in on Kanye West's antisemitic remarks during a recent podcast interview.
Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden weighed in on Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks during a recent podcast interview.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

"Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person," Gulden said of Ye.
“Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Gulden said of Ye.
APEX / MEGA

Gulden, a former top executive at rival sportswear brand Puma, was elevated to CEO just weeks after Adidas parted ways with Ye.

He took control following the earlier-than-expected departure in November of his predecessor, Kasper Rorsted, due to shareholder dissatisfaction with declining profits and sagging earnings.

Adidas saw its balance sheet impacted by the Ye controversy, steep drops in sales in China as well as its winding down of business in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Ye, the rapper, designer, and entrepreneur who at the peak of his powers claimed to be worth more than $3 billion, was dumped by Adidas after a series of bizarre incidents and statements last year.

In September, the Anti-Defamation League condemned Ye for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt during Paris Fashion Week.

Weeks later, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, took action against Ye’s accounts on those platforms after he suggested that Sean “Diddy” Combs was being controlled by Jews and that he would go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

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Gulden (seen above on May 11) lamented the end of Adidas' partnership with Ye.
Gulden (seen above on May 11) lamented the end of Adidas’ partnership with Ye.
AP

On Oct. 15, Ye claimed in a podcast interview that George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose. He also lashed out at “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” for forcing the cancellation of his shows.

One week later, the fashion brand Balenciaga announced it was cutting ties with Ye.

In late October, Adidas, which for weeks had come under relenting pressure to sever its business relationship with Ye, announced that it would discontinue the lucrative Yeezy line, which had generated hundreds of millions of dollars annually for the company.

The loss of the Adidas deal is said to shaved around $1.5 billion off of Ye’s net worth.


Ye appeared on Alex Jones' InfoWars podcast last December and declared: "I see good things about Hitler."
Ye appeared on Alex Jones’ InfoWars podcast last December and declared: “I see good things about Hitler.”
Info Wars

In December, Ye appeared on podcaster Alex Jones’ show, during which he declared: “I see good things about Hitler.”

That same month, Elon Musk, who weeks earlier acquired X, announced that Ye would have his account suspended.

Musk made the move in response to a tweet from Ye which showed a swastika inside a Star of David.

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Ye could not immediately be reached for comment.

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