Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald is leaving Ye’s Donda Sports. And after reflecting on his original comments, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown will be terminating his affiliation with the company too.
Their decisions came after Ye, formerly Kanye West, sparked major controversy for antisemitic comments and causing an uproar on social media after wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt with Candace Owens, a political commentator.
Because of this, Ye’s business partners, including Balenciaga and Adidas, have dropped him. JPMorgan Chase also dropped its account with Ye’s fashion company Yeezy.
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Donald released a statement, along with wife Erica, explaining why they have decided to move on from 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. “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.”
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Donald and Ye were close friends, with the former telling the “I Am Athlete” podcast crew that he is “a cool dude.” Donald also liked the family atmosphere of the company that fellow Donda Sports signee and Boston Celtics’ star Jaylen Brown stressed.
But Brown explained his change of heart.
“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 in a statement 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.”
Brown added that he does want to continue “providing mentorship, love and support to the incredible children, faculty and young athletes with whom I’ve been grateful to form bonds and relationships with during my time with Donda Academy.”
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Brown initially told The Boston Globe he doesn’t “condone any hurt, harm or danger toward any group of people or individuals whatsoever.” But he wanted to stay with Donda Sports because “it represented education, it represented activism, disruption, it represented single-parent households, and a lot more people are involved in something like that.”
Ye doubled down on his antisemitic comments last week, saying, “Hey, if you call somebody out for bad business, that means you’re being antisemitic,” The New York Post reported.
“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.
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.
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“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.”
Donald is represented by Todd France of Athletes First and recently signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $95 million contract with the Rams before the start of the 2022-23 NFL season. It made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.
Antonio Brown was named president of Donda Sports upon its inception in February, and both he and Ye were seen at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Donald became the first active player to sign with the agency, which handled his brand marketing.
Fox News Digital sports editor Ryan Gaydos and reporter Brie Stimson contributed to this report.