Adidas is donating Yeezy sales to anti-hate groups. US Jews say it’s making best of bad situation

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Religion

(AP) — When Adidas cut ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, due to his antisemitic comments, it was left with more than a billion dollars worth of high-end Yeezy sneakers. Now, Jewish Americans are evaluating the German company’s plan to give some of the proceeds from the sneakers’ sale to groups engaged in fighting antisemitism.Like other Jewish civic leaders contacted by The Associated Press, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson said he wasn’t planning to buy a pair of Yeezys himself, but he also doesn’t see the value of wasting the labor and material that went into making them.
“Antisemitism, like all forms of bigotry and hate, must be actively resisted by us all,” said Artson, dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. “This move will raise funds for that fight, without minimizing his vile words.”
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the CEO of T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization based in the U.S., said it was better than at least one alternative.
“We commend the decision to donate profits to the fight against antisemitism, which is certainly preferable to the shoes going to landfills,” Jacobs said.
Adidas is releasing more Yeezy sneakers this week via an online sale, the second such drop since the company cut ties with Ye in October after he made antisemitic and other offensive statements online and in interviews. The divorce left Adidas searching for a responsible way to unload the inventory.

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