Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Rapper/recording artist Kanye West during the Cincinnati Bengals game against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, superstar rapper and fashion designer Kanye West lost a lucrative deal with Adidas after he made antisemitic remarks. But Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden doesn’t think Ye meant what he said, calling his separation from the company “sad.”

During an appearance on the podcast “In Good Company” with philanthropist Nicolai Tangen, Gulden spoke on the controversy that resulted in Adidas terminating its relationship with Kanye West.

“He did some statements, which wasn’t that good and that caused Adi to break the contract and withdraw the product,” Gulden said on the program, which aired Sept. 12, as transcribed CBS News.

But Gulden seemed to come to West’s defense a little bit, claiming that he didn’t think Ye meant what he said.

“Very unfortunate because I don’t think he meant what he said and I don’t think he’s a bad person — it just came across that way,” Gulden said.

Gulden said while the severed relationship is “very sad” because Adidas “lost that business,” that’s a reality of business partnerships with celebrities sometimes.

“You know when you work with third parties, that could happen and you know it’s part of the game. That can happen with an athlete, it can happen with an entertainer, so it’s part of the business,” Gulden said.

[CBS News]