Kanye West's Initial Encounter with Adidas Marred by Disturbing Anti-Semitic Imagery

Kanye West's Troubled History with Adidas Unveiled.

by Nouman Rasool
Kanye West's Initial Encounter with Adidas Marred by Disturbing Anti-Semitic Imagery
© Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The iconic founder of Yeezy, Kanye West, has come under severe scrutiny following a disturbing revelation from a decade ago during his initial engagement with Adidas. The incident in question, detailed in a comprehensive report by The New York Times, brings to light allegations of the rapper's expression of anti-Semitic views through actions and statements that purportedly left the Adidas team in a state of shock and overwhelm for nearly ten years, up until their eventual severance of ties in 2022.

The report, published on a Friday, delves into the details of this unsettling episode, stating that at his very first meeting with the Adidas representatives in 2013 at their headquarters in Germany, West was accused of inscribing a swastika.

This incident allegedly occurred during a brainstorming session wherein the Adidas team, eager and enthusiastic to kickstart their collaboration, presented a range of design ideas and materials, including sneakers, fabric swatches, and a mood board embellished with various images.

West's Disturbing Creative Outburst

The team’s anticipation quickly turned to dismay as nothing on display seemed to align with West’s visionary expectations for the inaugural shoe design. Two employees, who were present at this pivotal meeting, recounted to The New York Times that an increasingly frustrated West decided to take matters into his own hands to express his displeasure.

He grabbed a shoe sketch, armed himself with a marker, and proceeded to draw a swastika on the toe, shocking everyone in attendance. The former employees emphasized the gravity of West’s actions, highlighting the proximity of the meeting’s location to Nuremberg, the historic site where Third Reich leaders were tried for crimes against humanity.

This backdrop added an additional layer of shock and repulsion to West’s already controversial gesture. This incident, as shocking as it was, was unfortunately not an isolated case. The New York Times report goes on to detail several more instances of anti-Semitic and s*xually abusive comments made by West throughout his almost decade-long partnership with Adidas.

In one particularly egregious allegation, West is said to have advised a Jewish manager at Adidas to "kiss a picture of Hitler every day," further solidifying the turbulent and controversial nature of his association with the brand.

Kanye West