How could a German company, especially one that had close ties to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, wait so long before cutting ties with a business partner that spews anti-Semitic hatred?
That’s a great question for adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted and supervisory board chairman Thomas Rabe.
They apparently adopted the “It’s not personal. It’s just business” management strategy used by Michael Corleone in “The Godfather.”
The duo waited nearly a month before cutting ties with rapper Kayne West (aka Ye) for his anti-Semitic tirades. Were they hoping the controversy would just go away?
Adidas on Oct. 25 terminated its relationship, effectively immediately, with West because it finally decided that it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any sort of hate speech."
West, who was at the Paris Fashion Show earlier this month wearing a “White Lives Matter" shirt, appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s show on Oct. 6 and other programs making offensive remarks about the Jewish people. He also tweeted about “going death con 3 on Jewish people.”
Italian fashion brand Balenciaga and talent agency CAA severed ties with the rapper, while adidas decided to put the relationship with West under review.
That led to an Oct. 20 stinging rebuke from the ADL, which asked Rorsted and Rabe: “What more do you have to review?”
The ADL also expressed alarm that adidas planned to introduce the Yeezy Boost 350 line “in the run-up to the anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre on Oct. 27, the most violent antisemitic attack in US history.”
Adidas says it will take a $250M 2022 profit hit by dropping its deal with West.
That’s chump change compared to the long-term reputational damage that adidas would have suffered had it maintained ties with the disgraced West.
Amateur time for the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The last thing Democrats need in the run-up to the midterm elections is the emergence of the “appeasement caucus” in its left-wing flank.
The CPC released a letter to Joe Biden on Oct. 24 that urged him to “pair the military and economic support for Ukraine” with a proactive diplomatic push aimed at war criminal Vladimir Putin.
That letter is music to Putin’s ears. He has been trying to undercut US support for Ukraine and split up the western alliance.
The letter said the US has the responsibility to “seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia, to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement.”
The letter came as Russia is threatening to escalate the war, claiming that Ukraine plans to deploy a “dirty bomb."
After jaws dropped on Capitol Hill, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the CPC, backtracked.
She issued a statement on Oct. 24, to clarify the letter to Biden. “Let me be clear: we are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom in the face of the illegal and outrageous Russian invasion, and nothing in the letter advocates for a change in that support.”
Too little too late.
On Oct. 25, the very embarrassed CPC said, “never mind.” It withdrew the Biden letter, which was “drafted several months ago” and released without vetting
Jayapal also complained that the timing of the letter’s release is “being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican leader McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over."
You got that right, Pramila.
The CPC, which includes “squad members” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Mondaire Jones and Ayanna Pressley, proved that it is not ready for prime time.