People still upset over Rick Ross‘ “U.O.E.N.O” date rape lyrics will have a chance to voice their issues tomorrow (April 4) in New York City by joining a protest at Reebok’s Flagship retail store.
Details of the unexpected demonstration were sent out to media outlets Wednesday.
Following on the heels of a week of controversy over Reebok’s silence on their spokesman Rick Ross’ new song in which he brags about drugging and raping a woman, UltraViolet members are planning to deliver 71,763+ petitions to the company’s flagship NYC store demanding the company fire him. The Reebok spokesman’s response that in not using the word “rape” he is off the hook has only escalated complaints that he does not fit Reebok’s image. What: Delivery of 71,763 signatures to Reebok demanding the company drop Rick Ross. Who: Dozens of concerned athletes, moms, and UltraViolet members. Where: Reebok’s flagship NYC store, 420 5th Ave, NYC When: 2pm, Thursday, April 4th ** Visuals: Dozens of women in running gear with marathon style bibs featuring the number 71,763, boxes of 71,763 petitions, and signs reading “Hey Reebok– Want my business? Stop promoting rape. Drop Rick Ross.” ** (Press Release)
A statement from UltraViolet protest organizer Nita Chaudhary explains why Reebok must be made accountable for endorsing Ross.
“In remaining silent, Reebok is using it’s brand to promote rape,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet. “Reebok and Rick Ross have crossed a line– not only does Ross brag about drugging and raping a woman, he is pushing the idea that if you don’t use the word ‘rape’ it doesn’t count. We are fed up and disgusted with Reebok, and Thursday we will bring this fight to their front steps.” (Statement)
Buzz behind Chaudhary’s movement heated up the Internet last week.
Rick Ross’ date-rape-referencing lyrics on rapper Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” have already sparked online outrage among women’s groups. Now a second wave of petitions is calling for Ross’ endorsement deal with Reebok to be discontinued, in part because “Reebok devotes a lot of time, energy and money to marketing to women.” That’s a statement from Nita Chaudhury, co-founder of anti-sexism collective UltraViolet, who received 51,000 signatures from members, moms and young athletes by Friday morning demanding Reebok drop Rick Ross from an endorsement deal that has already included multiple TV commercials and print campaigns. (Billboard)
Days prior, Ross tried to offer up an explanation about his lyrics and denied condoning rape.
“I want to make sure this is clear,” Ross said in an interview. “Woman is the most precious gift known to man, you understand? It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the word rape in my records. And as far as my camp, hip-hop don’t condone that, streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that, you understand me? I just wanted to reach out to all the queens that’s on my timeline, all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that have been reaching out to me about the misunderstanding. We don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.” (Q 93.3)