Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is terminating his marketing deal with Kanye West’s Donda Sports, Donald announced Tuesday. The decision comes after West made several recent antisemitic comments that resulted in the rapper being dropped by several major companies.
Donaldhe had joined Donda Sports, which West founded and named after his late mother. Donda Sports represented Donald only in his marketing deals. The full statement from Donald and his wife, Erica, is below:
“Our family has made the decision to part ways with Donda Sports. The recent comments and displays of hate and antisemitism are the exact opposite of how we choose to live our lives and raise our children. We find them to be irresponsible and go against everything we believe in as a family.
“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. 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.”
Donald was the only known active NFL player to sign with Donda. Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown had been named president of Donda Sports in February.
The 24-time Grammy-award winning rapper wrote on Twitter earlier this month that he would go “death [sic] con 3” on Jewish people. He’s worn “White Lives Matter” shirts and has previously said slavery was a choice.
On Tuesday, Adidas dropped West over his remarks. The brand had partnered with West since 2016, and the dissolution of the partnership could cost the brand up to $246 million, according to the company.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
Donald told “I Am Athlete” podcast in May that partnering with West and Donda Sports was “a helluva opportunity to open up a lot of different doors.”
“It was an opportunity that came to us, me and [my wife], and it made sense,” Donald told the podcast. “Hearing the whole spectrum of what they were going to be bringing, the whole family atmosphere that they got in Donda Sports. Not just me, but my wife being a part of that. For me it was a no-brainer.”
In an interview with Piers Morgan last week, West name-dropped Donald in a rambling defense of his antisemitic comments and what it would take for him to apologize.
“When I sit down with the people who write out the contracts for the NBA, and for the NFL, and for professional music and for acting contracts,” West said. “We need to go to the top lawyers, the top execs, the owners of the stadiums, the owners of the football teams and the owners of the record labels, and we’re gonna put them all in one room. And we’re going to read every… go top-10 in each one of these categories. Let’s read Michael B. Jordan’s contract. Let’s read Aaron Donald’s contract…”
Morgan cut off West at that point and the two shouted back and forth. West asked to complete what he called “a brilliant idea.” He went on to say he wanted to compare and contrast the top contracts in the NFL, NBA and music industry on a live platform with a high-level legal team.
“After that moment happens,” West concluded, “then I will say I’m sorry.”