Footage from the announced Reebok store protest in New York City this week has surfaced online and shows just how many people Rick Ross‘ “U.O.E.N.O” date rape-interpreted lyrics impacted.
Based on the footage, roughly 40 protestors came out to make a demonstration Thursday (April 4) at the Manhattan store.
“These are 72,000 petitions signed by our members all over the country,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of Ultra Violet, told Radio.com. “They are also comments from people about why they feel Reebok needs to drop Rick Ross over his recent lyrics about drugging and raping a girl.” The crowd of approximately 40 people cheered on two speakers, including Wagatwe Wanjuki, who offered her testimonial as a rape victim; and Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW NYC, who slammed Ross for making light of a heavy topic. “It is a hate crime to be out there making fun of, making light of, drugging and raping women,” said Ossorio. “It happens all too often in our culture.” (Radio)
The reports also claimed Ross’ 69-character Twitter did little to change the protestors’ attitudes.
Despite his efforts to provide a different take on his lyrics, Ross’ apology did little to change attitudes at Thursday’s protest. “How do you say ‘I slipped her molly and went home and enjoyed it and she didn’t know’ and then say you didn’t mean to condone rape,” protester William Anderson said. “He knew exactly what he was saying. The fact of the matter is he’s just a coward and he’s trying to avoid dealing with it.” Shaunna Thomas of Ultra Violate attempted to make good on the promise to deliver the 72,000 signatures to Reebok execs. But she was stopped at the door by a man who refused to identify himself. The man accepted the boxes of petitions and assured her that he would pass them along to the rightful party, but could not allow her inside. “We have customers in the store,” the man said. “We can’t allow everybody in the store.” (Radio)
Prior to the protest going down, Ross hopped onto his Twitter page to publicly apologize to the protestors and Reebok.
“I dont condone rape.Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS,” Ross tweeted April 4th.
“Apologies to my many business partners,who would never promote violence against women. @ReebokClassics @ultraviolet” (Rick Ross’ Twitter)
Activist Nita Chaudhary issued a statement prior to Ross’ apology defending her issues against Reebok in light of the “Boss.”
“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)
Check out the protest footage: