A group of activists and rape survivors are demanding Reebok drop Rick Ross as its spokesman after singer casually rapped about rape in a recent song.
On the track, off Rocko's "Gift of Gab 2" mixtape, the 37-year-old Miami native raps: "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 is a powder or crystallized form of MDMA, a drug found in Ecstasy that can distort one's senses and reduce inhibitions.
"By holding Rick Ross up as something to aspire to, Reebok is sending the message that raping a woman is cool -- and that's a dangerous message to send the boys and young men that Reebok markets to. This is what rape culture is," a petition drafted by UltraViolet states.
In a letter to Reebok's President Uli Becker, Chief Marketing Officer Matt O'Toole and Corporate Communications Daniel Sarro, the group reasons that Reebok is "condoning" rape by keeping Ross:
Like far too many women, we are survivors of sexual assault. Every single day that Reebok continues rewarding Rick Ross with a lucrative endorsement deal, Reebok is condoning rape. When one in five women will be the victim of completed or attempted rape, this is dangerous and it has real-life consequences. Your silence on this issue is unacceptable. It's time you took a stand against rape and drop Rick Ross as a spokesman.
On April 4, members of UltraViolet protested outside Reebok's flagship store in New York City and delivered a petition with 71,763 signatures against Ross.
As The New York Times notes, Ross offered an apology last week, reasoning that he never actually used the word "rape" in the song. However, such a defense did not sit well with critics, who continued to bash him for even insinuating the act of drugging an unknowing woman and taking her home.
He later took to Twitter to offer another response.