Global Creative Director of adidas Leaves Company After Controversial Instagram Comments

After 28 years of working at adidas, the brand’s Global Creative Director Paul Gaudio has left the company. While a reason was not directly stated by the brand, the abrupt decision came shortly after Gaudio posted a controversial comment on Complex’s Instagram which soon grew viral and attracted the ire of much of the general public. Gaudio had been with adidas since 1992, beginning as an employee in their advanced concepts division and eventually advancing his way up to the position of Global Creative Director.

The comment was in response to a Complex’s post stating the charges against Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year old boy who shot and murdered two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin during peaceful protests against the unjust shooting of 29-year old Jacob Blake by police officers. Gaudio’s comment read as follows ” “He is also a victim here. He’s a kid, who raised him? Who taught him? Who gave him a gun? Not excusing him by any means…but the adults who radicalized him and enabled him should be punished.”  Multiple current and former adidas employees replied to Gaudio and pointed out the racist notions in his sympathizing with Rittenhouse. This news comes shortly after adidas and several other brands released statements of solidarity in regards to NBA players’ own protests against Blake’s shooting.

In regards to Gaudio’s departure, adidas released the following statement to Complex: “We are very grateful for his contributions over his long tenure, including the last six years as our global creative director. Paul’s creative vision, deep understanding of consumer trends, and passion for breaking down the barriers between sports and the arts has played an important role in building our brand.”

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