By Maurice Bobb
God Forgives, Reebok Don’t. That was the most popular tweet on Twitter Thursday (April 11) after the sneaker giant succumbed to the mounting pressure from women’s rights groups who rallied in protest of Rick Ross’ controversial ’rape’ lyrics on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” by dropping Rozay from their roster of brand representatives. So, what happens now? Are fans satisfied?
“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. “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.”
The MMG Bawse, who was part of the shoe company’s popular “It Takes A Lot to Make a Classic” campaign, came under fire for rapping the line, “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,” which was largely considered a glaring example of date rape.
After Ultra Violet activists gathered in front of Reebok’s flagship store in New York City in protest last week, the “Diced Pineapples” MC tried to apologize for his lyrical transgressions via Twitter, but his social media mea culpa was ultimately dismissed as insincere and devoid of the gravitas needed to make full amends for his misogynistic verse.
“I dont condone rape.Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS,” Ross tweeted last Thursday (April 4), adding, “Apologies to my many business partners,who would never promote violence against women. @ReebokClassics @ultraviolet.”
In addition to losing his role as brand ambassador with Reebok, the Mastermind rapper was not included on the remix of the song that started it all in favor of Wiz Khalifa, because, as Rocko puts it, “the type of traction that the record has as far as radio and all over the country, it puts me in a position where I have to change it.”
Ross has yet to comment on his dismissal, but Internet trolls wasted no time chiming in with jokes, rants and varied comments agreeing and disagreeing with the Adidas subsidiary’s decision. His MMG team is standing firm though: @MeekMill: Reeboks right next 2 FILA when it come 2 sneaks that shit corny… I was only was feeling swizz & tyga projects… #boom
@PersiaNYC “If Rick Ross couldn’t get noone to wear Reebok’s he damn sure wasn’t gonna influence dudes to put molly in a chicks drink #YallGoinTooHard”
@DasJohnDoe “Rick Ross got dumped from Reebook…..it’s not like anybody still wears Reebooks anyway.”
@CoolKidsCloset “Come on Reebok. It was cool to Sign Rick Ross knowing he promotes drugs, guns, killing, b****&h*** etc. Why drop him after 2 bars now?”
@GeneWilly “Rick Ross lost his Reebok deal because of that Molly bar? Lmfaoooo”
@NaijaWarrior “Reebok could care less about what Rick Ross says. Just dont hurt their sales.”
@AshinKushington “I Gotta Feeling Reebok Really Wanted To Keep Rick Ross”
@TMJR1914 “Rick Ross done fcked up… He ain’t een kno it”
@Kenny_Burrs “Not condoning what Rick Ross said but the Media OD’n on him now though. I’ve heard wayyyyyy worse”
@darijorozayy “In all honesty I thought that line was sick that Rick Ross said. It went perfect with the song”
@mikeztyme “Rick Ross is a good example of, ’the same sword they KNIGHT u with they gon GOODNIGHT you with’”
@UptownStackz “Confused y reebok dropped rick Ross tbh. He talks about killing ppl n selling drugs in every single record but was still the face of reebok”
@IndigoRush_ “This one little line should not be messing with Rick Ross career like that. These feminist chicks need to get over themselves . “
@LazyEyedWonder “Rick Ross is a great example of what getting faded in a studio can get you.”
@DragonflyJonez “Rick Ross released by Reebok for rapping about rape. Toungue twister! nh nh nh nh nh nh nh nh nh nh nh nh nh”
@AndOne9d9 “Let me say this: I think it was stupid 4 Reebok 2 dump Rick Ross. They never should’ve picked him n the 1st place! What did they expect?”
Do you think Reebok made the right move in dismissing Rick Ross as brand ambassador?