- (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files)
Reebok may be in danger of losing some customers if the sports apparel company does not stop endorsing rapper Rick Ross.
Ross, the 37-year-old Miami, Fla. rapper, is a spokesman for Reebok. After some of his recent lyrics have caused many to believe that he condones rape, a number of people will protest at Reebok's New York City flagship store on Thursday.
UltraViolet, a community of individuals fighting for women's rights, will participate in the protest along with dozens of women who will present thousands of petitions and signs that read, "Hey Reebok-- Want my business? Stop promoting rape. Drop Rick Ross."
Ross came under fire earlier this month when he appeared on fellow rapper Rocko's song "You Don't Even Know It." In the song, Ross speaks about drugging a woman with a drug made popular in the rap industry - molly.
"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," Ross rapped in the song.
However, the rapper spoke up about his lyrics being misunderstood after a number of people began to speak out against the song.
"There (are) certain things you can't tweet, you have to verbalize. I want to make sure this is clear, that woman is the most precious gift known to man, you understand," Ross said on New Orleans radio station Q93.3. "It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn't used. I would never use the term rape."
Still some are not convinced that the rapper should be let off the hook so easily. Nita Chaudhary, the co-founder of UltraViolet, explained why Reebok needed to take a stand against Ross.
"In remaining silent, Reebok is using it's brand to promote rape," Chaudhary said in a statement released to FitzGibbon Media. "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."