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Adidas begins selling off Yeezy brand sneakers, 7 months after cutting ties with Ye

A significant portion of the sales from Adidas's "Yeezy" brand shoes will be donated to anti-hate groups, the company said.
A significant portion of the sales from Adidas's "Yeezy" brand shoes will be donated to anti-hate groups, the company said.

Adidas has begun selling off sneakers that were created in partnership with the artist Ye (formerly Kanye West) before the German sportswear company cut ties with the celebrity.

Adidas says a "significant amount" of money made from its remaining inventory of the "Yeezy" brand sneakers will be donated to organizations that are fighting antisemitism, racism and hate, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, founded by George Floyd's brother.

Adidas ended its partnership with Ye in October, after he made a string of antisemitic remarks.

It's still unclear whether Ye will receive any profits from the shoes, which currently range in price from $70 to $260 a pair and went on sale in the U.S. on Wednesday.

The company says it consulted with "a diverse group" of employees, organizations and consumers before deciding what to do with the leftover product. Adidas said it followed through on committed production orders even after the partnership was terminated in order to protect supply chain partners.

In February, Adidas estimated that the decision to not sell the existing Yeezy merchandise would cut the company's full-year revenue by about $1.28 billion and its operating profit by $533 million. In the first quarter alone, the discontinuation of the Yeezy business cost Adidas nearly $440 million in sales.

In April, investors announced they would sue Adidas over Ye's remarks, blaming the company for knowing about Ye's problematic behavior years before cutting ties with him and ending the collaboration. Adidas denied the allegations.

NPR's Emily Olson contributed reporting.

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Kristin Wright
Kristin Wright is an editor of NPR Newscasts airing during Morning Edition and throughout the morning. Based in Washington, D.C., Wright also contributes as a fill-in Newscast anchor.
Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.