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Report: Beyoncé Turned Down Reebok Deal Due to Lack of Diversity

“She said, ‘Nobody in this room, reflects my background, my skin color and where I’m from and what I want to do.’”

Music megastar Beyoncé and adidas announced their upcoming Ivy Park collaboration this week. The Houston native is set to release athleisurewear and sneakers with the brand after reportedly taking several meetings with competitors, including Under Armour, Jordan Brand and Reebok.

According to ESPN writer Nick DePaula, the Lemonade singer took staff diversity into strong consideration when deciding whom to work with, saying on a recent episode of The Jump, “I had heard a great story about how, throughout this process, in the last year or two, she had discussed with Under Armour, Reebok as well. Jordan, at one point, was interested in maybe partnering with her. She had a meeting at Reebok and they had a whole presentation of everything, potential products, how this could all look. And she kind took a step back and said, ‘Is this the team that will be working on my product?’

“Somebody said ‘yes.’ And she said, ‘Nobody in this room, reflects my background, my skin color and where I’m from and what I want to do.’ So she kind of took a step back and left. And then it did not come to terms.”

Fellow panelist and television host Rachel Nichols observed how unprepared Reebok reportedly was considering Bey’s background.

“I love…that’s an amazing story. Because it’s one thing to talk about ‘Oh, I want diversity. I want representation.’ But for a company not to realize, with Beyoncé’s track record, we better put people in the room, we better be able to elevate people who can do the job and to be able to do the job, you have to come from where she’s coming from.”

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