Adidas will continue to work with Kanye West despite an online petition on Care2 calling for the corporation to drop the rapper. People are demanding the German sportswear company separate from West after he praised President Donald Trump and also suggested that slavery was a choice.
CEO Kasper Rorsted distanced the company from the recent controversy but says adidas will continue to work with West as a designer, according to Reuters.
“There clearly are some comments we don’t support,” Rorsted said on a call with journalists. “We are very committed to the Yeezy brand moving forward.” However, he did make it clear the company will talk to the 40-year-old about the issue.
Rorsted made his statement Thursday after reporting adidas’ first-quarter net profits surpassed Under Armour and Nike. The “New Slaves” rapper left Nike for adidas in 2013, which helped to re-establish the German brand in the U.S. market.
West’s partnership with the apparel company expanded in 2016 with the opening of new stores. He designs Yeezy models that are offered in limited quantity. There is a limited financial contribution to the brand but aligning with West gives it “brand heat.” The artist’s product often sells out and is one of the most discussed lines in recent sneaker history.
Overall, the company’s shares went up 13 percent in the past three months but were down 1 percent over concern by traders about West’s recent rants.