Big name athletes leave Kanye West agency amid anti-Semitism row
NFL star Aaron Donald and NBA basketballer Jaylen Brown have terminated their contracts with rapper Kanye West’s Donda Sports marketing agency after his anti-Semitic comments.
Now known as Ye, the popular producer and musician posted anti-Semitic comments on Twitter, which have led him to be dropped by Adidas.
His Donda Sports agency, named after his late mother, was launched in May, with Donald, a Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman and Brown, a guard with the Boston Celtics, the first two athletes West signed.
As confirmed in a statement released with his wife Erica, however, Super Bowl winner Donald and his family have “made the decision to part ways with Donda Sports” due to the controversy embroiling West.
“The recent comments and displays of hate and anti-Semitism are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children,” the Donalds explained.
Though Brown initially stated he would stay with Donda Sports, he backtracked on his decision on Tuesday.
“I have always, and will always, continue to stand strongly against anti-Semitism, hate speech, misrepresentation and oppressive rhetoric of any kind,” Brown said.
When cutting ties with West the same day, German clothing giant Adidas said that it does “not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other sort of hate speech.”
Adidas has previously revealed that its Yeezy collaboration with Kanye is one of the most successful in its history. Due to cutting ties with West, Adidas is tipped to see a $250 million negative impact on earnings in 2022.
Forbes estimates that losing his Adidas deal means West’s net worth will drop from $1.5 billion to $400 million, meaning he will no longer occupy the finance magazine’s list of billionaires.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Donald reworked his Rams contract in July while still a Donda Sports client so that he will receive $95 million across the next three seasons until 2024.
The move made him the highest-earning non-quarterback in NFL history.
Brown, who led the Celtics to the NBA finals earlier this year, has two years left on the four-year, $106.3 million contract extension he signed with the Celtics in 2019. He is expected to earn a four-year extension worth around $165 million when his current deal expires.