Things continue to spiral downward for Rick Ross. With mounting public pressure surrounding Rozay’s controversial lyric on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.,” Reebok has severed ties with the former brand representative.
“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 told MTV News in a written statement issued Thursday (April 11).
Over the course of the past month, the Maybach Music MC has been criticized for conjuring images of rape on the Rocko track, which first dropped in February. “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 it,” he rhymed.
On March 28, the rapper visited Q 93.3 in New Orleans to try to quell the tension. “There was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation,” he said. “I would never use the term ‘rape’ in my records and as far as my camp. Hip-hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that, nobody condones that.”
Ross, however, had not apologized up to that point and angered many by dubbing the public outcry a “misunderstanding.” On April 4, women’s-rights organization Ultra Violet protested the lyric by camping out in front of Reebok’s flagship store in New York City, calling for the sneaker giant to end its endorsement deal with Ross. The “Hold Me Back” spitter immediately took to Twitter to apologize to fans, Ultra Violet and Reebok, but it appeared to be too late, because one week later, Reebok terminated the deal.
“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 statement read. “At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross.”
What do you think of Reebok’s decision to end their partnership with Rick Ross? Let us know in the comments.