Star athletes Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown made large moves this week as both ended their relationships with Donda Sports, in light of founder Kanye West’s anti-semitic remarks and tweets. West has been banned from Twitter and other social media sites, and has lost multiple deals with Balenciaga and Adidas. The Adidas deal severance broke recently, as West lost millions of dollars, making Forbes remove him from their billionaires list.
The real question here is: what the heck is Donda Sports? Why does it exist? Is it all just a front? Well, in some ways, all of these are correct.
What is Donda Sports?
According to a statement released on Twitter, Donda Sports is a “limitless organization centered on professional and wellness support in equal measure with the ambition to work with athletes across all genders, divisions and sports.”
The agency was founded in early 2022 by Ye (Kanye West) and Justin Laboy, who were looking to break into the sports agency front.
Donda Academy, the school West founded, already had a basketball team that had games aired on ESPN.
When did Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown sign?
Donald signed with Donda Sports on May 30, citing an opportunity to have his entire family involved and reaching out beyond sports.
Brown signed with Donda Sports in June, wanting his future endeavors to include social justice and sustainability.
Donald and Brown are the only two current athletes to sign with Donda Sports.
What does Antonio Brown have to do with any of this?
Good question. Antonio Brown is the President of Donda Sports, signing on in February and being shown on the jumbotron with West at Super Bowl LVI. Brown, according to the statement above, was bringing an athlete’s perspective to all aspects of the organization.
What does Donda Sports actually do?
On a surface level, it seems like it’s marketing only. Brown is represented in contract negotiations by Jason Glushon of Glushon Sports Management, and Donald is represented by Todd France of Athletes First. Donda Sports is just a marketing agency.
Furthermore, when you go to the Donda Sports website, it looks like this:
The shop has three products: a hoodie, shorts and a pair of socks. The hoodie is $200, the shorts are $140 and the socks are $60—and they’re all sold out.
Donald and Brown both released statements on their departure from the agency, both citing the Anti-Semitic remarks.
It’s unsure where Donda Sports goes from here, but Antonio Brown has said that he will remain president at Donda Sports.