Rick Ross May Lose Endorsement Deal Over ‘Date Rape’ Song

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    Rapper Rick Ross is under fire over the lyrics in his latest single “U.N.E.N.O.” – which appears to glorify committing date rape. Outraged groups across the country are calling on apparel giant Reebok to dump him as a spokesperson, pronto. Radio stations are already refusing to play the song.

    “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it,” read the controversial lyrics. “I took her home and I enjoyed that. She ain’t even know it.”

    “Molly” is slang for the crystal form of MDMA, often considered a “date rape” drug as it distorts reality and reduces inhibitions. “It is totally appalling that Reebok would be featuring and paying a spokesman like Rick Ross who is proudly rapping about raping women,” Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of the anti-sexism and women’s rights website Ultraviolet, which has launched a petition demanding Reebok axe Ross.

    “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 okay promoting rape culture and when one out of five women are the victim of an attempted or completed rape that has real life consequences.”

    rick 2Reebok has sponsored numerous top athletes over the years such, and scored exclusive manufacturing deals with the NFL, NHL and MLB. In 2003, rapper Jay-Z became the first non-athlete to endorse the brand. Scarlett Johansson, 50 Cent and Nelly later followed in his footsteps. In March 2012, Ross signed an endorsement deal with the brand to promote its footwear.

    “Keeping Ross on sends a message to young men that some kinds of rape are just not okay, but cool,” Chaudhary said. “In the two hours since we have launched this campaign, more than 25,000 people have already signed the petition.” Since the explosion of bad press, Ross has attempted to clear up the controversy and insists people are misinterpreting his lyrics.

    “Women are the most precious gift known to mankind,” the rapper said in interview with New Orleans’ Q93.3, while donning a Reebok cap. “It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation. The term ‘rape’ wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape.” But many aren’t buying that line. Ashley-Michelle Arnold, a site administrator of the non-profit message board After Silence, a collective chat space for rape and abuse victims, says Ross should be given his marching orders “if the company has any vested interest whatsoever in saving face with their female customers.”

    “In the case of Rick Ross, you have a so-called ‘rap artist’ bragging about committing a violent sexual assault and getting away with it. For Reebok to continue utilizing him as a brand ambassador, they’re endorsing his behavior and the so-called art he creates for their target demographic,” she said. “They’re telling their male customers that this is someone to emulate not only in dress, but actions.”

    If Reebok doesn’t take prompt action, experts say it could be very bad for business.

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    “Reebok should have anticipated something like this happening given whom they hired. By choosing someone who’s unpredictable to promote your product you are playing with fire and bound to get burned,” said crisis management expert, Glenn Selig. “Reebok may try to wait it out and see if the controversy goes away. And if it doesn’t, Reebok may have no choice but to walk away from this deal – if not run.”

    Advertising expert Steve Hall of AdRants.com said enough is enough.

    “I’ve actually had it with brands that defend their relationships with celebrities who have become murderers, adulterers, illegal gamblers, cheaters and the like. Everyone’s human and everyone makes mistakes but at some point, we have to stand up and say no to employing celebrities as role models who can’t even get their own act together,” he said. “And no to sports figures who think it’s perfectly fine to cheat. And no to musical artists who think it’s fine to proudly rap about drugging and raping their women.”

    What do you think…should Reebok drop the axe?

    SOURCE

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    Originally seen on http://zhiphopcleveland.com/

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