As we dive deeper into the single digits of our IDIOT OF THE YEAR countdown, we’ve come to a crossroads. Overall idiocy should be a factor, but as we are ranking the biggest imbeciles in sports, Kanye West finishes at No. 7. His damage was much worse than people ranked ahead of him to society at large, but West’s impact in the sports world landed him a top-10 spot. Congrats you Hitler–loving, antisemitic idiot. You’ve done enough damage that you barely touch the sports world, yet still beat Aaron Rodgers, Novak Djokovic, and Daniel Snyder.
For those unaware, West went on an antisemitic tirade on social media that essentially ended all of his major brand deals. He doubled down on his views and descended further into madness, getting his Twitter account temporarily suspended. Thanks for letting someone with such hatred in their heart back on the platform, Elon! West went so far from reality, he appeared with Alex Jones on far-right conglomerate Infowars. Not exactly the place to find redemption sitting beside Jones, who was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in damages for the lies he spearheaded about the Sandy Hook school shooting.
West’s lies about the Jewish people brought fringe views into the mainstream, like the text “Kanye was right about the Jews” being shown on a stadium chyron in Jacksonville after Florida played Georgia in their annual Southeastern Conference showdown. Crowds of neo-Nazis also put it on posters and were seen giving the Nazi salute on the 405 Freeway in October. West’s negligent behavior normalized hatred against the Jewish people. Accepting that awful people exist isn’t why Kanye’s actions are so despicable. It’s that he clearly doesn’t understand the harm he does.
West’s uncredited school, Donda Academy, closed momentarily because of the controversy. Donda’s basketball team had to shut down, causing both of its 5-star prospects to leave the program. Robert Dillingham, a Kentucky commit, now plays for the Overtime Elite. AJ Johnson, a Texas signee, is finishing his prep career at Southern California Academy. West had secured two high-profile clients to Donda Sports, NBA All-Star Jaylen Brown and Super Bowl champ Aaron Donald, but both split with the brand after West’s antisemitic predilections came to light.
Antonio Brown, who’s far from a moral compass, stayed on as the company’s president, which says all you need to know about both men’s ethics. A few weeks later on Saturday Night Live, Dave Chappelle incorrectly thought that West did so much damage he got Kyrie Irving in trouble. The comic is definitely wrong, but you can see the intent behind his thought process. Irving didn’t promote an antisemitic film and book until after West shared a recent bout of antisemitism.
West’s association with Donald Trump and other questionable actions caused some to look at him in two different lights. They could hate what he stands for, but still love his music. Walt Disney has been rumored to be a racist and antisemite for decades and families still consider one of his namesake theme parks one of the happiest places on Earth. After late October’s outburst and lack of ensuing apology, more have taken pause before listening to his music. Most radio stations have stopped playing his recordings entirely. And in the sports world, just like society at large, West’s reputation will likely never recover.