April 11, 2013


Reebok Severs Ties With Rick Ross Over Rape Lyric Controversy

Alexander Tamargo
Alexander Tamargo

UPDATE: Rick Ross tweeted this business-like response to Reebok ended their partnership: "I want to thank Reebok Classics for their hard work and dedication over this past year. Good partners, good shoe. Continued success."

One week after pressure against Reebok to drop Rick Ross reached a fever pitch thanks to an online petition, an on-the-street protest and outrage from media pundits, the corporate giant has cut off their endorsement deal with the Maybach Music boss.

"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," the shoe-making company said in a statement. "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."

Reebok's statement echoes what women's rights group UltraViolet told Fuse last week during their protest at the Reebok flagship store in Manhattan. "He doesn't really get the problem. He did rap about rape," the group's executive director told us. "It's not an interpretation. He needs to get to a place where he understands that." Following Reebok's announcement, UltraViolet announced they were "thrilled to hear that Reebok is joining the fight against rape culture and dropping Rick Ross."

Although Ross apologized several times, his half-hearted, awkward attempts to explain what he meant by, "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," haven't eased the furor.

Just earlier today, Atlanta rapper Rocko—the primary artist credited on the controversial track—announced he's axing Ross' verse from the radio remix of "U.O.E.N.O." because the public pressure "puts me in a position where I have to change it."

Whether it's dawned on Ross how sickening his lyric was remains to be seen. But it's fair to assume that given his obsession with cash, he'll step up to the plate and try to offer a legitimate apology now that this is hitting him in the bank account.