AceShowbiz - Adidas bosses are standing by Kanye West and will not drop his Yeezy brand after his controversial comments calling slavery "a choice". The rapper said 400 years of slavery "sounds like a choice" in a video interview with TMZ earlier this week (end May 06), comments that drew condemnation from stars including will.i.am and Ava DuVernay.
Activists have launched a petition, published on the activist social network Care2, calling on Adidas chiefs to end their relationship with Kanye, who designs Yeezy trainers and fashion lines in partnership with the German sportswear firm.
In an interview with U.S. business TV network Bloomberg, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted declined to comment on the specifics of Kanye's remarks, but said there had been no discussion about dropping Kanye and that he, "has been and is a very important part of our strategy."
Kasper also called the musician turned fashion designer a "fantastic creator."
However, the German businessman hinted that the star's outburst was an unwanted distraction adding, "I saw the comment as you have seen it. I've not had any conversations with Kanye over the last 24 hours... It's very clear to us that we're a sports company, we want to change people's lives through sport."
Kanye moved his Yeezy brand from Nike to Adidas in 2013 and three years later renewed their relationship by announcing plans to expand into apparel and retail stores.
The anti-Kanye petition had racked up almost 5,000 signatures by Thursday, May 03. It asks Adidas bosses to "drop their partnership with Mr. West and tell the world they do not want anything to do with anyone who believes that millions of Africans chose to toil the fields in bondage for 400 years."