| NEW YORK, April 3
NEW YORK, April 3 A women's rights organization
will protest outside Reebok's Manhattan store on Thursday,
demanding the athletic goods retailer cut ties with rapper Rick
Ross over a song whose lyrics it says boasts about drugging and
raping a woman.
The Miami-based rapper released the song "U.O.E.N.O." in
January featuring lyrics that seem to reference drugging and
having sex with a woman who is unaware of what is happening.
Since then some radio stations have dropped the record from
their playlists, a parents' watchdog has protested and women's
rights advocates have posted video on YouTube objecting to the
"In remaining silent, Reebok is using its brand to promote
rape," said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, which
claims membership of some 400,000 people fighting to combat
sexism and expand women's rights.
The group plans to protest outside Reebok's 5th Avenue store
in Manhattan on Thursday and to deliver petitions bearing more
than 71,000 signatures demanding the company drop Ross.
Ross has an endorsement deal with the company and promotes
its shoes in print and TV commercials.
The song contains the lines "Put molly (slang for the drug
MDMA) 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 has denied the lyric in question condones rape, saying
the lyrics have been misinterpreted.
"I would never use the term rape ... in my lyrics," Ross
said in an interview last week with New Orleans radio station
Q93.3 FM. "Hip hop don't condone that, the streets don't condone
that, nobody condones that."
Ross "is pushing the idea that if you don't use the word
'rape' it doesn't count," Chaudhary said in response. "We are
fed up and disgusted with Reebok, and Thursday we will bring
this fight to their front steps," she added
The Parents Television Council this week called on U.S.
radio stations to stop playing the song and asked the Federal
Communications Commission to review whether broadcasters were
violating their public interest obligation "by airing music that
promotes date rape and drug use."
Reebok, a subsidiary of Germany company Adidas,
said it "has no comment at this time."
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Todd