NFL’s Donald, NBA’s Brown end their deals with Ye’s agency
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown terminated their associations Tuesday with Donda Sports, the brand management agency owned by the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
Donald and Brown signed deals with Donda Sports earlier this year to represent some of their interests outside of their sports. Both star athletes emphatically dropped the agency owned by Ye, as the music mogul is now known, amid rising international condemnation of his latest round of offensive and antisemitic remarks.
German sportswear giant Adidas also ended its extraordinarily lucrative partnership with Ye on Tuesday.
Donald, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, signed with Donda Sports last spring after the Rams won the Super Bowl. The seven-time All-Pro and his wife, Erica, denounced West’s “displays of hate and antisemitism” in a statement announcing their decision.
“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,” they wrote. “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.”
Brown emphatically reversed his own tentative decision Monday to stay with Donda Sports, saying Tuesday that he will “continue to stand strongly against any antisemitism, hate speech, misrepresentation and oppressive rhetoric of any kind.”
Former NFL receiver Antonio Brown was named the president of Donda Sports in February, and he claimed the organization bought a $2 million suite for the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium.
Donald and Jaylen Brown subsequently signed with the amorphous agency, which was supposed to represent the athletes in marketing and branding deals not related to their team contracts. Donda Sports also claimed to be “centered on professional and wellness support” in the announcement of its deal with Antonio Brown.
Donald and Jaylen Brown appear to be the only announced clients of Donda Sports, which has a nonfunctioning website and an Instagram account with over 279,000 followers and no posts.