Kanye’s Swastika Drawing Left Adidas Staff in Germany Aghast: Report

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports via Getty
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports via Getty

Kanye West once advised a Jewish manager at Adidas to kiss a picture of Hitler every day, according to a New York Times investigation detailing the dramatic downfall of his mega-partnership with the shoe brand. Among other revelations in the Times expose: he forced company execs to watch porn with him during a meeting in his New York apartment, he paid a settlement to an employee who accused him of repeatedly praising Hitler, and he left colleagues aghast during one of his earliest meetings with Adidas in Germany in 2013 when he drew a swastika on a shoe to protest what he though were their sub-standard designs. But, according to the picture painted by the Times, execs continually overlooked or ignored West’s problematic behavior in favor of the vast profits his shoe designs brought in. For example, in 2019, he reportedly demanded a $1 billion advance then hurled shoes around a room during a meeting—yet Adidas responded by paying him more. The company eventually dropped him last year after a slew of racist, antisemitic public outbursts. West did not respond to the Times’ request for comment. Adidas said in a statement it “has no tolerance for hate speech and offensive behavior.”

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