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Kanye West criticizes Gap and Adidas’ lack of diversity: “Black board seats matter”

‘Ye, who is heavily creatively involved with both companies, tweeted that he does not have a board seat at either.

Kanye West Getty

Kanye West called attention to the lack of diversity among corporate board rooms on Thursday (Sept. 1) by using his own predicament as an example. On Twitter, West stated that he does not have a board seat at Adidas or Gap, despite the fact that he is heavily involved with both companies on a creative level.

“I DONT HAVE A BOARD SEAT AT GAP I DONT HAVE A BOARD SEAT AT ADIDAS,” he tweeted. “BLACK BOARD SEATS MATTER.”

West made similar comments back in July, a month after he announced his new partnership with Gap. The company’s stock spiked in response to ‘Ye’s upcoming Yeezy x Gap line, but fell nearly 6 percent when the rapper threatened to “walk away” from partnerships at both Gap and Adidas if he was not given a board seat.

West’s new comments emerge as many institutions have pledged to increase their diversity, as nationwide protests and calls for racial equality continue. As reported by Bloomberg, Adidas recently announced diversity-boosting measures, including a plan to hire Black and Latinx employees for 30 percent of their new positions in the U.S.

However, these positions reportedly do not include board member seats. Gap, on the other hand, pledged to double Black and Latinx employees “at all levels” in its U.S. headquarters by 2025. According to MSN, only 10 percent of new board directors were Black in 2019. Neither Gap nor Adidas has released a statement in response to West’s accusations.

Kanye announced his 10-year partnership with Gap back in June. The new Yeezy x Gap line is expected to include clothes for men, women and kids “at accessible price points” and be released next year.

West launched his Air Yeezy sneakers with Adidas in 2009 and has partnered with the brand since 2013. The partnership is said to expire in 2026.

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