Rick Ross has officially lost his endorsement deal with Reebok for not showing an “appropriate level of remorse” for lyrics that were believed to insinuate date rape in a track titled “U.O.E.N.O.”
Shortly after the song was released on Rocko’s Gift of Gab 2 mix tape, the rapper was under fire for a few lines in his verse that alluded to drugging an unsuspecting woman, having his way with her and “she ain’t even know it.”
“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.”
In the midst of the controversy, Ross apologized through a series of tweets which wasn’t enough for a group of women’s rights activists, Ultra-Violet, and rape survivors who urged the sportswear company to drop Ross as a spokesperson from their brand.
Reebok announced Thursday that they have released Ross from his endorsment contract.
“Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand,” the statement read. “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. At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross.”
In a move that seems too little too late, Ross finally released a formal apology to the press.
“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”)