Representation matters to Beyoncé.
Queen Bey announced a major partnership with adidas this week, but she was also reportedly in talks with other brands. According to ESPN writer Nick DePaula, the singer held meetings with Under Armour, Jordan, and Reebok. During an interview for ESPN’s “The Jump,” DePaula claimed that the Reebok deal never got off the ground because of a lack of diversity and representation during the initial meeting.
“She had a meeting at Reebok, and they had a whole presentation of everything–potential products, how this could all look…and she kind of took a step back and said, ‘Is this the team that’ll be working on my product?’” said DePaula. “Somebody said yes, and she said, ‘Nobody in this room reflects my background, my skin color, and where I’m from and what I want to do. And so she kind of took a step back and left and then it did not come to terms.”
After the story made headlines, Reebok issued a denial. In a statement to TMZ, the sportswear giant–who is owned by adidas–said Bey did not walk out of a meeting because of a lack of diversity.
“The report that Beyoncé walked out of a meeting with Reebok due to lack of diversity is categorically false,” said a Reebok rep. “Our discussions with Beyoncé and her team continued for several months after our initial meeting. We are disappointed that false information is being reported as fact.”
It is not clear why the Reebok deal did not go through, but Beyoncé ultimately signed with adidas. The partnership was officially announced earlier this week and includes footwear, apparel, and the relaunch of her Ivy Park brand.
While the Reebok report may be inaccurate, it’s no secret that Beyoncé has always stood for diversity. She and JAY-Z were recently honored for their LGBTQ advocacy at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
“We’re here to promote love for every human being, and change starts with supporting the people closest to you,” said Bey while accepting the award. “So let’s tell them they are loved, let’s remind them they are beautiful, let’s speak out and protect them, and parents—let’s love our kids in our truest form.”
Additionally, there are rumors that the superstar is working on new music as well as a Netflix documentary surrounding her epic Beychella set. Us Weekly reports that it “will be tied to her Coachella 2018 performance” and feature additional footage.