On Friday (May 19), Adidas announced that they will sell their $1.3 billion unsold Yeezy inventory beginning May 31. Furthermore, proceeds from the sale of the shoes will go to two organizations that were deeply impacted by Kanye West’s hateful words last year: The Anti-Defamation League and Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, which was founded by George Floyd’s brother Philonise.
Also, in October 2022, during a Drink Champs interview, Kanye erroneously stated that George Floyd died because of fentanyl and not from Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck. This prompted the family of George Floyd to file a $250 million lawsuit against Kanye for his offensive remarks.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to begin releasing some of the remaining adidas YEEZY products,” said Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden in a press release. “Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organizations and stakeholders we spoke to. We believe this is the best solution as it respects the created designs and produced shoes, it works for our people, resolves an inventory problem, and will have a positive impact in our communities. There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind and we remain committed to fighting against it.”
ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt concurred with Gulden and expressed his appreciation of Adidas initiative.
“At a time when antisemitism has reached historic levels in the U.S. and is rising globally, we appreciate how adidas turned a negative situation into a very positive outcome,” he added in the statement. “They have shown real thoughtfulness in engaging with community organizations working to combat this pernicious and stubborn hatred.”
“Their leadership, in not only condemning anti-Jewish hate but lending their support for education and other initiatives, is exemplary and a model for other public companies to emulate. We thank them for their ongoing dialogue around their remaining inventory and their vested interest in tackling issues of prejudice and hate,” he concluded.
Adidas will team up with Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change organized by Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, to support community programs through sport and education.
According to the press release, a range of existing Yeezy designs will be available exclusively through adidas.com/yeezy portal at the end of the month. This will be your last chance to secure yourself a pair of Yeezy kicks.
Ultimately, this completely end Adidas’ association with Kanye whom they severed ties with the rapper-producer in October 2022 following his anti-Semitic and anti-Black remarks. Nevertheless, the sneaker giant is also facing a class-action lawsuit from shareholders who have accused the brand of being aware of Ye’s erratic behavior long before they ended their partnership with him.
For more information, head over to adidas.com.