Celts’ Brown, Rams’ Donald leaving Ye’s agency
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald both announced Tuesday night that they are leaving Donda Sports, the agency founded by the artist formerly known as Kanye West, due to antisemitic comments he recently made.
The announcements came hours after Adidas terminated its relationship with the rapper, who now is known as Ye.
Brown’s decision came one day after he told The Boston Globe he would remain with Donda Sports despite the fact he didn’t condone Ye’s remarks.
“In the past 24 hours, I’ve been able to reflect and better understand how my previous statements lack clarity in expressing my stance against recent insensitive public remarks and actions,” Brown said Tuesday in a statement he released via Twitter. “For that, I apologize. And in this, I seek to be as clear as possible. I have always, and will always, continue to stand strongly against any antisemitism, hate speech, misrepresentation, and oppressive rhetoric of any kind.
“In light of that, after sharing in conversations, I now recognize that there are times when my voice and my position can’t coexist in spaces that don’t correspond with my stance or my values. And, for that reason, I am terminating my association with Donda Sports.”
Donald announced around the same time that his family would leave Donda Sports, saying that Ye’s remarks “are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children.”
“As parents and members of society, we felt a responsibility to send a clear message that hateful words and actions have consequences and that we must do better as human beings,” Donald wrote in his statement via Twitter. “We do not feel our beliefs, voices and actions belong anywhere near a space that misrepresents and oppresses people of any background, ethnicity or race. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many incredible people along the way and hope to continue to use our platform to uplift and support other families, children and communities through positive outreach.”
Brown and Donald signed with Donda Sports in May.
Earlier Tuesday, Adidas announced it would be formally cutting ties with Ye, who had developed a hugely lucrative clothing and apparel partnership with the company.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
As part of its statement, Adidas said it would lose roughly $250 million this year in net income as a result of breaking away from its partnership with Ye, but that doing so was necessary in the wake of antisemitic comments he has made in recent weeks.
Ye has made controversial remarks in the past on a variety of issues, including on slavery and COVID-19 vaccines. Earlier this month, Ye posted on Twitter that he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to the U.S. defense readiness condition scale known as DEFCON. He was suspended from both Twitter and Instagram.
His recent string of antisemitic comments has caused several companies to break ties with the rapper or his various business lines. Creative Artists Agency, Balenciaga, Gap and Foot Locker are among others who have ended their partnerships with him.