After public outcry over Rick Ross‘ lyrics that critics say glorify rape, Reebok has dropped Ross as a spokesperson. The news comes a week after activist group UltraViolet held a protest outside Reebok’s flagship store in New York City.
“Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so,” Reebok said in a statement, according to Billboard. “While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse. At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross.”
“I’ll die over these Reeboks (She ain’t even know it)/ Put molly all in her champagne (She ain’t even know it),” Ross raps. “I took her home and I enjoyed that (She ain’t even know it)…”
While Ross tried to explain that he didn’t mention the word ‘rape’ shortly after online petitions surfaced, the controversy went viral.
On April 4, the day UltraViolet held a protest demanding Reebok drop Ross for the lyrics they said glorify rape. Ross’ responded by issuing a Twitter apology that did little to quiet the cries of foul.
“I dont condone rape,” he tweeted. “Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS”
— Mastermind (@rickyrozay) April 4, 2013
His apology did little to quiet the cries of foul. As Radio.com previously reported, members of UltraViolet, held boxes labeled with the number “72,000.”
“These are 72,000 petitions signed by our members all over the country,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of Ultra Violet, told Radio.com. “They are also comments from people about why they feel Reebok needs to drop Rick Ross over his recent lyrics about drugging and raping a girl.”
The crowd of approximately 40 people cheered on two speakers, including Wagatwe Wanjuki, who offered her testimonial as a rape victim; and Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW NYC, who slammed Ross for making light of a heavy topic.
“It is a hate crime to be out there making fun of, making light of, drugging and raping women,” said Ossorio. “It happens all too often in our culture.”