Controversial former NFL star Antonio Brown STANDS BY Kanye West amid anti-Semitism scandal | Daily Mail Online

Former NFL star Antonio Brown has defended Kanye West following the rap mogul’s string of Anti-Semitic comments, calling the public reaction to the musician’s comments ‘reactionary and selective.’

West tweeted on October 9 that he would go ‘death con 3’ on ‘JEWISH PEOPLE’ and further claimed Jews ‘control the media’ in an interview released Monday, leading stars Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown to cut ties with his Donda Sports Agency.

But Brown said Tuesday night that he would not be leaving Donda Sports, of which he’s been president since his release from the Buccaneers.

‘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.

‘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 cultural issues toward 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.

Kanye West has seen far-reaching consequences for his recent Anti-Semitic rhetoric

But Antonio Brown has stood by the rapper, remaining in his role with Donda Sports

‘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,’ he said, while also acknowledging that ‘discrimination of any kind is an injustice to all people.’

Brown ended his statement by saying that he was ‘dedicated to helping clarify statements taken out of proportion by the media’ and that ‘I remain in support of the humanity that is Ye.’

In an interview with podcast host Lex Fridman posted Monday, West also blamed Jewish people for his mental health problems and claimed billionaire philanthropist and progressive George Soros ‘would use the black trauma economy to win an election.’

In recent interviews, West has baselessly claimed former Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh – who died of cancer last year – was ‘killed’ by the company’s CEO, and that ‘fake children’ were planted in his home to manipulate his children. 

NFL player Aaron Donald (left) and NBA star Jaylen Brown (right) both on Tuesday said they could not work with Kanye West’s sports marketing company

On Monday, West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian tweeted: ‘Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.’ 

Antonio Brown, meanwhile, is no stranger to controversy himself, having recently been ordered by a court to pay $1.2 million in damages to a truck driver he assaulted in 2020. 

In addition to Jaylen Brown and Donald leaving Donda Sports, Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga, Vogue and Foot Locker have all ended their respective deals with West.

Donald, 31, joined Donda Sports in May – the first and only active NFL player to sign with the rapper’s sports marketing firm.

West is pictured on October 21 in Los Angeles

ANTONIO BROWN’S FULL STATEMENT

‘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. 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,’ Brown said.

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 cultural issues toward 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.

As the President of Donda Sports, I remain.

I remain true to the mission of Donda and our amazing staff and community.

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. 

On Tuesday, he issued a statement co-signed with his wife Erica to explain why they decided to walk away – without mentioning West by name. 

‘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,’ they said. 

‘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.’

NBA star Jaylen Brown, 26, who is vocal about the importance of education and lifting up marginalized communities, then followed suit. 

Like Donald, he signed with West’s firm in May – but unlike Donald, he insisted this week he was standing by the Chicago rapper.

‘The reason why I signed with Donda Sports, it represented education, it represented activism, disruption,’ he said on Monday. 

‘It represented single-parent households, and a lot more people are involved in something like that.’

On Tuesday, Brown said he had given the matter more thought, and changed his mind.

‘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 wrote on 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.

‘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.’

The sports stars’ decision comes in the wake of West losing his huge deal with German sportswear giant adidas, estimated to be worth more than $1.5bn in total, including royalty payments and other fees. 

Ye has refused to walk back his remarks, blaming Jewish people for his mental health struggles in a recent podcast

Companies, studios and agencies who have cut ties with Kanye after anti-Semitic tweet 

A number of companies and entities have cut ties with Kanye West in recent weeks, including:

The termination of the deal has knocked Ye out of the billionaire ranks, according to wealth tracker Forbes. 

Without Adidas, Ye is worth a comparatively paltry sum of $400 million, which Forbes estimates comes from real estate, cash, his music catalog and a 5 per cent stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims.

But as corporations around the world break off deals with Ye, music streaming service Spotify said it would not remove the rapper’s music unless his label requested it.

Recent anti-Semitic remarks made by the rapper are ‘just awful comments,’ and would have warranted removal from Spotify for violating its policies if they had been on a podcast or recording, Spotify chief Daniel Ek said.

However, music from the artist now known as Ye does not violate anti-hate policies, and any anti-Semitic comments he has made cannot be found on the music streaming platform.

‘It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,’ said Ek, adding, ‘It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.’ 

Universal Music’s Def Jam label, which owns the copyright to West’s recordings from 2002 through 2016, and continued distributing his releases until last year, issued a statement condemning Ye’s remarks, saying: ‘There is no place for antisemitism in our society’. But the label has not asked for the removal of Ye’s recordings, many of which are critically acclaimed works.

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