Rick Ross Dropped By Reebok

The sports brand severs ties with the US rapper following heavy criticism of his lyrics which some consider to be pro-rape.

Rick RossRoss has apologised for his lyrics on the song U.O.E.N.O

Reebok has ended its relationship with rapper Rick Ross, whose song featuring lyrics that seem to boast about drugging and raping a woman has caused an uproar.

“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,” the sportswear brand said in a statement.

“At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr Ross.”

Rick Ross performs onstage at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards
Rick Ross at the BET awards last year

Ross had an endorsement deal with the company and promoted its shoes in print and TV commercials.

Last week, the Miami-based rapper apologised on Twitter for his part on fellow rapper Rocko’s song U.O.E.N.O, which contains lyrics that seem to refer to drugging and having sex with a woman who is unaware of what is happening.

It came the same day a women’s group, UltraViolet, protested outside of one Reebok’s stores in Manhattan.

Various women’s rights organisations and some politicians have also been calling for more protests and boycotts over U.O.E.N.O, while some radio stations have dropped the record from their playlists.

In Rocko’s song, Ross raps about giving a woman the drug MDMA, known as Molly, and having his way with her.

“Put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it,” he says.

In his apology on Twitter, Ross said he does not condone rape and apologised for the lyrics that were “interpreted as rape”.

A week prior, Ross said in a radio interview that “there was a misunderstanding with the lyric” and that he didn’t use the term “rape”.

Protest For Reebok To Fire Rick Ross
Ulraviolet protested outside a Reebok store in New York

Rocko told US station Hot 97 that he is removing Ross’ rap from his song as the backlash “put him a position where I have to change” it.

UltraViolet said the group is “thrilled to hear that Reebok is joining the fight against rape culture and dropping Rick Ross”.

“This sends a strong message that rapping about drugging and raping an unconscious woman is not only morally wrong, but has real consequences,” the statement said.

Four of Ross’ five albums have reached gold status, including last year’s God Forgives, I Don’t, which earned a Grammy nomination for best rap album.

His hits include The Boss and Aston Martin Music, and he has collaborated with acts like Kanye West, Drake, John Legend and Nicki Minaj.

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