Shoe giant Reebok is under pressure to remove Rick Ross as their ambassador, with a petition against the rapper and his ‘offensive lyrics’ gaining momentum.
Women’s groups have flared up over Ross’ lyrics in his track U.O.E.N.O, which was featured on fellow rapper Rocko‘s Gift Of Gab 2 mixtape, released last month.
As NME reports, those offended by the lyrics have interpreted them as Ross hinting at drugging a woman in order to have sex with her.
He sang: “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” (Molly being another term for MDMA or ‘Ecstasy’).
A petition has since been created – calling for Reebok to drop Ross from their current advertising campaign in the wake of the controversy. More than 51,000 people have signed the petition so far.
Ross has denied that the lyrics are related to the subject, telling New Orleans radio station Q93.3 FM that he “don’t condone rape and I’m not with that”.
“I want to make sure this is clear that woman is the most precious gift known to man,” he said. “It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn’t used.”
However, Nita Chaudhury, spokesperson for anti-sexism collective UltraViolet, reckons Ross has crossed the line, and has called on Reebok to take significant action.
“Reebok devotes a lot of time, energy and money to marketing to women, and now they’re paying a man who is literally bragging about raping women. That tells women that Reebok isn’t interested in our business. It tells us that Reebok is OK promoting rape culture and when one out of five women are the victims of an attempted or completed rape, that has real life consequences.”