A petition calling on the sports apparel brand Adidas to drop rap superstar Kanye West over comments he made about slavery has reached more than 4,500 signatures.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you all? Like, we’re mentally in prison,” West said in an interview with TMZ on Tuesday.
The comments sparked outrage from the likes of CNN’s Don Lemon and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, with infuriated activists even starting a petition urging Adidas to cut all ties with West.
“While Kanye can live safely in his multimillion-dollar castle, the rest of black America is continually marginalized and subject to unjust laws and treatment. Some even die because this behavior is so ingrained in our society,” the petition reads.
“Kanye West has a right to free speech, and he has the right to spout lies and misinformation and misplaced opinions — but we as consumers have the right to fight back against this type of dangerous propaganda.”
“That is why Care2 is asking Adidas 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,” it concludes.
As part of his partnership with Adidas, West recently launched a new style of Yeezy shoes, which he claims has seen a quarter million sells.
the desert rat 500 sold 250 thousand in one hour on Coachella weekend. Please do not try to play Yeezy or anyone who wears Yeezy. We are the future.
— ye (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
The petition raises further questions about the effect of West’s recent political statements, with opinion split on whether it will boost or damage his brand.