Antonio Brown released a lengthy statement defending Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), who is in the middle of controversy after making, and doubling down on, antisemitic comments.
Brown defended his friend while stating that he will be remaining as the president of Ye’s Donda Sports.
“I remain true to the mission of Donda and our amazing staff and community,” Brown said in a statement on Twitter. “I remain dedicated to helping clarify statements taken out of proportion by the media. I remain committed to bringing new ideas, experiences, and designs to our world. I remain in support of the humanity that is Ye.”
Donda Sports lost two of its top clients on Tuesday, as Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown both announced they would be dropping the agency that handled their brand marketing.
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Brown initially said that he would stay with Donda Sports, but after reflection, decided it best to move on.
Ye doubled down on his antisemitic comments recently, saying, “Hey, if you call somebody out for bad business, that means you’re being antisemitic,” the New York Post reported.
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“I feel happy to have crossed the line of that idea, so we can speak openly about things like getting canceled by a bank,” Ye added, referencing JPMorgan Chase dropping his Yeezy brand.
The original comments came on Ye’s Instagram, where he posted a text message with rapper Diddy, who criticized his “White Lives Matter” shirt during the Yeezy fashion show in Paris.
“This ain’t a game,” Ye responded to Diddy. “Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.”
Ye later tweeted: “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Antonio Brown elaborated and said that the media is taking Ye's comments “out of proportion.”
“Over the past few weeks the world’s reactionary and selective outrage at comments in the media made by my brother, Ye, have inflamed and sparked rampant conversation and reflection,” Brown said. “I too have been able to reflect on statements that I and others in my circle have made that lack clarity in expressing my stance. The people and brands that have relentlessly profited from Black ideas and Black culture chose to distance themselves at a very specific time: a time that demonstrated their prioritization of certain groups over others.
“None of us in this world are free of judgment, yet we live in a time where scrutiny and pessimism have driven our dialogues on culture issues towards diatribes. Sensationalism and groupthink have forced people to not speak their minds and act out in fear rather than love. For these reasons, I stand by my dedication to freedom of speech, thought and opinion. I actively seek to coexist in places where I may have a difference of opinion because it’s diversity in thought that pushes humanity forward. Let me be clear, discrimination of any kind is an injustice to all people, which is exactly why I wish to issue this statement.”
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Other business partnerships have ended for Ye recently, including Adidas and Balenciaga, due to his comments.
Donald explained his reasoning for leaving 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,” Donald wrote in a statement on Twitter, along with his wife, Erica. “We find them to be irresponsible and go against everything we believe in as a family.”
Jaylen Brown said reflection showed him “my voice and my position can’t coexist in spaces that don’t correspond with my stance or my values,” leading to him terminating his association with the agency.
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Antonio Brown was named the president of Donda Sports at its inception in February.