“Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets. As an artist, one of the most liberating things is being able to paint pictures with my words. But with that comes a great responsibility. And most recently, my choice of words was not only offensive, it does not reflect my true heart. And for this, I apologize. To every woman that has felt the sting of abuse, I apologize. I recognize that as an artist I have a voice and with that, the power of influence. To the young men who listen to my music, please know that using a substance to rob a woman of her right to make a choice is not only a crime, it’s wrong and I do not encourage it. To my fans, I also apologize if I have disappointed you. I can only hope that this sparks a healthy dialogue and that I can contribute to it.”
–William Roberts (a.k.a “Rick Ross”)
Reebok has officially given Rick Ross the boot.
The company announced Thursday that it is parting ways with the Miami rapper after weeks of controversy surrounding his “U.O.E.N.O.” date rape lyrics. In the song, Ross states, “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know,” causing an uproar among listeners.
In a statement to TMZ, Reebok said:
“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. 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 decision comes just a week after Ross’ half-assed Twitter apology in which he said he doesn’t condone rape and was sorry for “the lyric interpreted as rape.”
Women’s rights group UltraViolet was a vital piece in bringing down the “boss,” collecting nearly 100,000 signatures for their “Drop Rick Ross” petition while staging a protest outside of Reebok’s New York flagship store.
Ross has yet to comment on the announcement.