It looks like the efforts of womens’ rights group UltraViolet paid off. The group staged a protest the other week in front of Reebok’s flagship store in New York City, in order to speak out against Rick Ross’ date rape lyrics in Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.,” and ask Reebok to no longer support the MMG boss.
Rocko released the official remix to “U.O.E.N.O.” which no longer has Rozay on it today, but Reebok took action of their own against the rapper. TMZ reports that Reebok has dumped Rick Ross from their campaign efforts.
Reebok said of the decision, “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.”
Recently Rozay did a “White Hot” commercial with Reebok. Check it out below.
[UPDATE: Rick Ross responds to Reebok via Twitter.]
Following Reebok’s statement released yesterday, where they announce they’re letting go MMG boss Ricky Rozay (see above), Ross has responded on Twitter.
While this incident has gotten responses from fellow rappers in the game, who defend Rick Ross and admonish Reebok, Rozay has taken the high route, and simply thanked Reebok for all their support over the years.
Ross tweeted, “I want to thank Reebok Classics for their hard work and dedication over this past year.Good partners,good shoe.continued success.”
On top of this tweet, the rapper released an official statement to the press. Read the statement, and see the tweet, below.
“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”)