Beyoncé, who announced a partnership agreement with Adidas earlier this week, reportedly walked out of a potential deal with Reebok due to the brand’s lack of diversity.
“Throughout this process over the last year or two, she had discussed with Under Armour, with Reebok as well, Jordan [at Nike] at one point was interested in maybe partnering with her,” ESPN writer Nick DePaula said of the singer during a recent appearance on the sport network’s program “The Jump.”
“She had a meeting at Reebok and they had a whole presentation of everything, potential products, how this could all look, and she kind of took a step back and said, ‘Is this the team that will be working on my product?' ” DePaula quoted.
ESPN Writer @NickDePaula reveals Beyoncé walked out of a meeting w/ @Reebok after she highlighted the pitch team's lack of diversity & non-existent representation of her background and skin color.— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) April 5, 2019
He also talks about Bey getting offers from Jordan (@Jumpman23) & @UnderArmour. pic.twitter.com/J2P3cvGw6I
“Somebody said, ‘Yes,’ and she said, ‘Nobody in this room reflects by background, my skin color and where I’m from and what I want to do.’ So she took a step back and left and then it did not come to terms,” he continued.
“For her, it really goes beyond that. It’s not just about putting her name on a shoe and here’s the new Adidas Beyoncé 1, or whatever they end up calling it. It’s about having an imprint on the company and an impact in terms of diversity,” the sports writer concluded.
Reebok, which is owned by Adidas, later denied DePaula's claim.
‘The report that Beyoncé walked out of a meeting with Reebok due to lack of diversity is categorically false,” Reebok said in a statement to AdAge. “Our discussions with Beyoncé and her team continued for several months after our initial meeting. We are disappointed that false information is being reported as fact.”
The report comes shortly after the "Formation" singer, whose full name is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, was confirmed to have signed onto Adidas as the brand’s newest creative partner.
In a press release announcing the deal, the Grammy-winner called the deal a “partnership of a lifetime.”
“Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries,” she said. “We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to re-launching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader.”
Representatives for Beyoncé did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Updated 7:00 p.m.