Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden is now defending Ye, formally known as Kanye West, well after his antisemitic comments.
On Sept. 12, Gulden shared his opinion that he didn’t believe Ye intended the antisemitic comments that resulted in the cancellation of his lucrative Yeezy relationship with the mega-brand during his appearance on the In Good Company podcast.
“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,” he said.
“That meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history…very sad,” Gulden continued.
Last October, Ye unleashed a series of alarming tweets against Jewish people and even called for “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Facing an immediate backlash, adidas reportedly lost millions of dollars and was ultimately pressured into dropping Ye from their brand. After the brand cut ties with him, Ye reportedly had an estimated $1.5 billion cut from his net worth. The large financial blow cost him his billionaire status.
According to Reuters, adidas stated in May that they would sell some of the products and contribute a portion of the revenues to organizations fighting racism and antisemitism after considering what to do with unsold Yeezy stock.
He has had an extensive history of allegedly being antisemitic. According to the American Jewish Committee, he sat down with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and shared his opinion that people should “stop dissing the Nazis” and praised Adolf Hitler during the InfoWar interview.
The former billionaire also shared an image on Twitter of a swastika fused with a Star of David, which resulted in getting kicked off of the platform. Last October, the College Dropout rapper claimed that Planned Parenthood was involved in a plot to stop Black women from having children in order to slow the rise of the Black population. But he referred to the Black population as the “Jew population.”