American football defensive tackle Aaron Donald and American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Jaylen Brown announced Tuesday night that they are leaving Donda Sports, the agency founded by the artist formerly known as Kanye West, due to antisemitic comments he recently made.
On Tuesday, both Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown announced that they no longer would be working with the rapper and his sports agency venture.
Brown’s decision came one day after he told The Boston Globe he would remain with Donda Sports despite the fact he didn’t condone Ye’s remarks, per ESPN.
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“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 said Tuesday in a statement he released via Twitter. “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.
Donald announced around the same time that his family would leave Donda Sports, saying that Ye’s remarks “are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children.”
“In light of that, after sharing in conversations, I now recognize 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.”
“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,” Donald wrote in his statement via Twitter.
“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. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many incredible people along the way and hope to continue to use our platform to uplift and support other families, children and communities through positive outreach.”
On Oct. 9, West, who legally changed his name to Ye, tweeted that he would “go death con 3 on Jewish people.” He claimed that it was not antisemitic because “black people are actually Jew also.” The tweet was removed and Twitter locked his account.
The since-deleted tweet was one of a number of troubling actions the Grammy-winning rapper has taken over the last month.
West was criticized for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at his fashion show in Paris—the phrase was coined as “a racist response to the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter”—and also posted a screenshot of a conversation he had with Sean “Diddy” Combs on Instagram in which he made antisemitic remarks, per Bleacher Report.
West also filmed an appearance on The Shop, however, SpringHill Company CEO Maverick Carter said the company had decided to pull the episode after West used the show “to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes.”
Donda Sports, West’s marketing agency, signed Donald and Brown in May. The deals didn’t impact their representation, only their marketing contracts and off-field and off-court ventures.
Donald was the only known NFL player to have signed with Donda Sports, though former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown was named president of the organization in February. Jaylen Brown was also the only known NBA player to have teamed up with Donda Sports.
Brown’s decision to part with Donda Sports comes after he said in an interview with Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe on Monday that he was going to stay with the organization:
“The reason why I signed with Donda Sports, it represented education, it represented activism, disruption. It represented single-parent households, and a lot more people are involved in something like that.
“A lot of people that I work with, work with their families, build love and respect for, spending time in the summer. A lot of people involved. That’s what the organization from my vantage point from Donda Sports represented.”
Donald had not commented on the situation until he announced his decision to part ways with the organization.
A number of businesses have also cut ties with West over the last week, including Adidas, which produced his Yeezy sneakers, Vogue and Balenciaga. On Tuesday, Foot Locker announced it would no longer “be supporting any future Yeezy product drops” and it had told “retail operators to pull any existing product from our shelves and digital sites.”
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Sources: ESPN, Bleacher Report
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