The Philadelphia Jewish community is concerned that the damage from Kanye West's remarks has already been done.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Adidas is the latest company to cut ties with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West over antisemitic remarks.
But, the Philadelphia Jewish community is concerned that the damage may have already been done.
"I pray for him because there is something going on with him," said Cantor Scott Borsky. He's been following the controversy from South Jersey, worried that Kanye's words could lead to violence.
"A lot of words that are coming out of his mouth are certainly antisemitic and that's not good because he has millions and millions of people that follow him," Borsky said.
Controversy has been brewing for weeks surrounding the remarks including a now-deleted Twitter post that said he would go "death con 3 on the Jewish People," and remarks on a podcast.
"I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can't drop me," Ye said on the podcast.
It turns out, Adidas can drop him. The move is expected to cost the company nearly $250 million.
"It illustrates that antisemitism is unacceptable and it creates consequences," said Andrew Goretsky, with the Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia.
Goretsky applauded the move by companies, although he said it was overdue. He said the damage has been done and pointed to a banner that was hung over a highway in California that said Kanye was right about Jews.
"This is proof positive that hate breeds more hate and there are consequences," he said.
The data journalism team at 6abc uncovered a spike in antisemitic incidents in 2021 across the country with more than 2,700 reports. In Pennsylvania, the number had been trending down in recent years but is now on pace to be higher this year, with 51 reports so far.
"Frankly, it has never been as bad as it is now," said Dr. Misha Galperin, the CEO of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. "It's not just words, they can stir up action among people."
Adidas isn't the only company to cut ties with the rapper. His record label, Def Jam, announced it was also ending their relationship.