Adidas will begin investigating allegations of misconduct against Kanye West, with whom the company had a partnership that ended in October.
“It is not currently clear whether the accusations in the anonymous letter are true,” Adidas said in a statement released Thursday. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have made the decision to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to address the allegations.”
The statement comes after an article in Rolling Stone reported that Adidas board members ignored 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 members of the executive board on Tuesday about the “toxic and chaotic environment Kanye West has created.” The letter went on to say, “This kind of response from a brand partner is one that Adidas employees should never be exposed to, and Adidas leadership should never tolerate.”
Adidas has ended its partnership with Ye after he made a series of anti-Semitic statements in recent months. In late October, West addressed anti-Semitic comments — as well as what he said about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter — in a 16-minute video shared to YouTube by WmgLab Records that appears to have been recorded at some point after Adidas ended its business relationship with him.
“I think Adidas felt like it was because everyone was identifying with me and that they had the right to take my designs,” West told a small crowd.
In the video, West did not apologize for his anti-Semitic remarks, but appeared to be trying to distance himself from any “hate group”.
“I have no affiliation with any hate group,” West said, closing his speech in prayer. “If any hatred occurs to any Jewish person, do not attach (gestures to himself) for I demand that all walk in love.”
Adidas has partnered 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 significant partnership ever created between an athletic and non-sports brand.”
West does not currently have an attorney or publicist representing him in this matter.
— CNN’s Dan Heching contributed to this report