The Donda Academy is shutting down for the school year after the recent antisemitic statements made by the academy’s founder, the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
According to an email from academy principal Jason Angell, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, the decision to close was made by the Grammy Award-winning artist, who has legally changed his name to Ye.
“Our leadership team will be working diligently to assist all families during this transition, ensuring that every scholar has what they need to succeed in their next community in a prompt and gracious manner,” Angell wrote. “We intend to begin afresh in September of 2023.”
However, another email obtained by TMZ and signed “Parents of Donda” called for students to return to the academy Thursday, leaving the status of the school in some doubt.
Amid the closing announcement, the Donda Academy’s boys’ basketball program, which has three top-50 recruits in the Class of 2023, has seen invitations to fourprominent high school basketball showcases rescinded.
The Hoophall Classic, John Wall Holiday Invitational and Kentucky Play-By-Play Classic confirmed in statements that Donda Academy would no longer participate in their events, with Scholastic Play By Play Classics founder Jeremy Treatman expressing remorse for the effect on the academy’s players.
“Kanye’s words and actions violate our values as a company and a country, and what we seek to ensure at all of our events — a spirit of diversity, sportsmanship, inclusion, equity and mutual respect,” Treatman said in a statement. “While we are firm in our reasoning for this decision, it does not diminish our heartache and regret for Donda’s hardworking student-athletes who will lose out the most as a result of Kanye’s actions.”
A fourth event in which Donda Academy was scheduled to play, the City of Palms Classic, replaced the academy with The Patrick School (New Jersey) on Thursday morning.
For weeks, Ye has made antisemitic comments in interviews and social media, including a Twitter post earlier this month that he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to the U.S. defense readiness condition scale known as DEFCON. His posts led to his suspension from both Twitter and Instagram, although new posts have been made on Instagram this week since the suspension.
Donda Academy’s shutdown is the latest fallout from Ye’s controversial remarks. Adidas said Tuesday that it was ending its partnership with Ye, while Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown both announced this week that they were leaving the Donda Sports agency.
Donald addressed his decision to cut ties with Donda Sports on Thursday, saying he came to that decision after discussing Ye’s comments with his wife, who also helps with the defensive tackle’s marketing.
“It’s just a situation where a lot of things was going on that I felt that wasn’t in the best interest of my family or what we got going on and what we believe in,” Donald said. “So I think it was best for us to go our separate ways.”
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop and The Associated Press contributed to this report.