Adidas will begin an investigation into allegations of misconduct against Kanye West, with whom the company had a partnership that ended in October.
In a statement released Thursday, Adidas said “It is currently unclear whether the allegations made in the anonymous letter are true. However, we are taking these allegations into account and have decided to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to address the allegations. ”
The statement follows an article in Rolling Stone which said Adidas board members noticed inappropriate behavior from the rapper, who legally changed his name to Ye, in partnership with his Yeezy brand.
Rolling Stone says it obtained a letter sent by former high-ranking Yeezy employees to board members on Tuesday about the “toxic and chaotic environment created by Kanye West.” The letter went on to say, “This type of response from a brand partner is one that Adidas employees should never be subjected to, and Adidas leadership should never tolerate.”
Adidas ended its partnership with Ye after he made a series of antisemitic comments a few months ago. In late October, West addressed the antisemitic comments — as well as his comments about George Floyd and Black Lives Matter — in a scathing 16-minute video shared by WmgLab Records on YouTube and apparently recorded at some point after Adidas ended its business relationship with him.
“I think Adidas felt like the reason everyone was picking on me was that they had the right to just take my designs,” West told a small crowd.
In the video, West did not apologize for his antisemitic comments but appeared to try to distance himself from a “hate group.”
“I have no affiliation with any hate group,” West said as he closed his comments with a prayer. “If any hatred happens to any Jew, it is not connected (movements to himself) because I want everyone to walk in love.”
Adidas had been in partnership with West since 2013, when the company signed his brand away from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most important partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.”
West does not currently have an attorney or publicist representing him in this case.
— CNN’s Dan Heching contributed to this report