A brand-new shoe store in the East Bay is joining the backlash against Ye, the rapper and businessman formerly known as Kanye West.
Los Angeles-based Bottom Bunk recently opened a new store in Walnut Creek. The owner is pulling all Yeezy products from store shelves.
“Morally, it doesn’t sit right with me. Our brand is about helping humans of all religions, all races,” said Bottom Bunk owner Cole Richman. “I’m Jewish, my partner is African American and Jewish. And for me, personally, what struck a chord is when I hear hate speech like that in history shown and lead to violence and extermination, attempted extermination of a race.”
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
West, who officially changed his name to Ye, has been under fire for a lot of things. Recently, Adidas ended its massive deal with the rapper turned businessman after making antisemitic remarks.
“When he’s talking about Jews being in power and having an agenda to try to manipulate a system, the bigger part is the media gave him a voice to begin with,” Richman said.
Richman told NBC Bay Area that pulling Yeezys from the shelves will hurt him financially but he said that he faced tough times before. He spent eight years in prison for robbery, he’s a recovering drug addict and started his sneaker business with the $200 he was given, when released from prison two years ago.
“If it’s going to hurt my pocketbook, it’s only going to be short term and the world has shown if I do right, right things will come,” he said.
Bottom Bunk is not the first and likely won’t be the last to disassociate themselves with Ye.
Earlier Wednesday, Skechers executives in Southern California escorted Ye out of the building when he arrived unannounced and without an invitation.