The ongoing fall-out from Kanye West‘s recent spree of antisemitic statements has reached nearly every corner of the former billionaire artist’s once-sprawling empire, with the latest defections coming from his Donda Sports division. In the wake of a series of interviews in which West has doubled- and tripled-down on inflammatory, derogatory hate speech, L.A. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald tweeted on Tuesday (Oct. 25) that he was unable to continue their professional relationship.
“Our family has made the decision to part ways with Donda Sports,” read a statement from Donald and his wife, Erica Donald. “The recent comments and displays of hate and antisemitism are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children. We find them to be irresponsible and go against everything we believe in as a family.”
They continued, “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. 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.”
Boston Celtics shooting guard Brown — who earlier this week said he was sticking with Donda Sports — shifted his position on Tuesday, saying, upon reflection, he could not keep working with West (who now goes by Ye).
“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 tweeted in a statement. “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.”
Brown said in light of his reflection he recognized 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.” Both men signed with West’s marketing agency Donda Sports in May of this year. And while they cut ties, the company’s president, former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown — who was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 after taking off his uniform and running off the field during a game — said he was staying put.
“Over the past few weeks the world’s reactionary and selective outrage at comments in the media made by my brother, Ye, have inflamed and sparked rampant conversation and reflection,” Brown tweeted on Tuesday. “I too have been able to reflect on statements that I and others in my circle have made that lack clarity in expressing my stance. The people and brands that have relentlessly profited from Black ideas and Black culture chose to distance themselves at a very specific time: a time that demonstrated their prioritization of certain groups over others.”
Brown said, for those reasons, he is standing by his “dedication to freedom of speech, thought, and opinion.” He added that as president of the company he remains “true to the mission of Donda,” as well as “dedicated to helping clarify statements taken out of proportion by the media.”
West’s recent spate of controversial statements and actions — including wearing and promoting a “White Lives Matter” shirt featuring a slogan adopted by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and his weeks-long series of interviews in which he has made antisemitic comments — have cost the rapper dearly.
In addition to facing backlash from both fans and celebrities online, he has been dropped by many of his fashion and business partners, including The Gap, Balenciaga, Adidas, as well as getting him dropped by his agents at CAA, and seeing an already-finished documentary from MRC shelved. In addition, Forbes reported this week that the loss of the lucrative Adidas deal — valued at around $1.5 billion — would cost Ye his billionaire status, dropping his net worth to around $400 million.
See Donald, Brown and Brown’s statements below.