- Antonio Brown is standing by Kanye West despite the rest of the sports world distancing itself from the rapper.
- Adidas terminated its partnership with Ye after he made antisemitic comments on social media.
- LeBron James, Aaron Donald, and Jaylen Brown have also condemned Ye’s remarks.
The world of sport is distancing itself from Kanye West after he made a series of antisemitic remarks earlier this month – except for Antonio Brown.
In early October, West wrote on Instagram that rapper and record producer Sean “Diddy” Combs was being controlled by “the Jewish people.”
Days later, he then tweeted that he was “going death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE” before alleging he wasn’t “Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also.”
West, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, has since been dropped by a number of his corporate partners, including Adidas, which in a statement Tuesday called the remarks “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous” and said they “violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion.”
Adidas said cutting its partnership with Ye would result in a $250 million loss of net income for the company in 2022.
Ye’s own sports marketing agency – Donda Sports – is also collapsing from the inside, with its only two clients, NFL defensive end Aaron Donald, of the Los Angeles Rams, and Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown both terminating their contracts.
—AD_99 (@AaronDonald97) October 25, 2022
—Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) October 25, 2022
Other athletes to condemn Ye’s comments include the Jewish former NFL wide receiver Julian Edelman and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who pulled Ye’s episode of his YouTube show, “The Shop,” because the 45-year-old used it “to reiterate more hate speech.”
Antonio Brown, however, who is the president of Donda Sports, released a lengthy statement on Wednesday in which he accused people of having “selective outrage” over Ye’s comments.
“The people and brands that have relentlessly profited from Black ideas and Black culture chose to distance themselves at a very specific time: a time that demonstrated their prioritization of certain groups over others,” the former NFL star wrote.
“Sensationalism and groupthink have forced people to not speak their minds and act out in fear rather than love. For these reasons, I stand by my dedication to freedom of speech, thought, and opinion.”
“I remain committed to bringing new ideas, experiences, and designs to our world I remain in support of the humanity that is Ye.”
—AB (@AB84) October 26, 2022
Brown’s comments on Ye come after the former NFL player was ordered to pay $1.2 million to a truck driver that he allegedly attacked two years ago.
According to TMZ, a Broward County jury awarded the damages to Anton Tumanov earlier this month after Brown failed to respond or show up to hearings in the case.
Tumanov was awarded $407,000 in medical expenses, both past and future, and $793,000 in damages for pain and suffering.
Court documents state, according to Fox News, that Tumanov and Brown got into a dispute over payment of service for delivering an item to Brown’s house on February 11, 2020.
Tumanov claimed that Brown hit him multiple times, resulting in “severe bodily injuries.”
Police were called to the incident, and Brown was hit with three criminal charges. However, in June 2020, he worked out a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to probation, community service hours, and anger management courses to have the case dropped.
But in May 2021, Tumanov sued Brown, and after Brown failed to respond to the summons and complaint, a default judgment was entered against him on the issue of his liability while a trial was set to determine the awarding of financial damage.