Adidas says Kanye West is still great for business, even after the rapper called slavery a 'choice'
- Adidas has no plans to cut ties with Kanye West despite backlash against the rapper's comments referring to slavery as a "choice."
- "Kanye has helped us have a great comeback in the US," Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said in an interview with CNBC.
- A petition calling on Adidas to cut ties with West has gathered more than 9,000 signatures.
Adidas isn't planning to cut ties with Kanye West despite a massive backlash this week against the rapper's comments referring to slavery as a "choice."
The shoe company is standing behind West, who designs sneakers under the Yeezy brand for Adidas, because he's great for business, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday.
"Kanye has helped us have a great comeback in the US," Rorsted said. "There is no doubt the Yeezy brand has a fundamental impact on our overall brand."
Rorsted made the comments amid growing calls for Adidas to drop West, following an interview with TMZ in which West said: "When you hear about slavery for 400 years — 400 years? That sounds like a choice."
A petition calling on the company to cut ties with West has gathered more than 9,000 signatures.
"While Kanye can live safely in his multi-million dollar castle, the rest of black America is continually marginalised and subject to unjust laws and treatment. Some even die because this behaviour is so ingrained in our society," the petition reads.
Rorsted said Thursday that Adidas is against slavery and racism.
"For many, many years we have been a member of the U.S. human rights declaration, which speaks very clearly against slavery, racism, child labour. ... We continue to promote that strongly," he told CNBC.
He said Adidas would look into whether West violated any codes of conduct with his remarks.