PRESS RELEASE FROM “ULTRA VIOLET”
Just minutes after Rick Ross tweeted an awkward non-apology to people who had “misinterpreted” his rap about drugging and raping a woman, more than 100 UltraViolet and NOW NYC members crashed Reebok’s flagship store in New York City to demand the company drop Rick Ross. Survivors of rape, athletes, moms, and concerned women all lugged boxes containing 72,000 petitions to the store for delivery. Reebok barred the women from entering, but two representatives met them at the door and promised to deliver the petitions to CEO Uli Becker.
“It’s time for Reebok to stop using their brand as a platform to promote rape and the idea that rape is not just okay, but cool. Contrary to Ross’ claims, there was no misinterpretation here: Slipping a woman a drug and ‘enjoying that’ is rape, plain and simple.” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet. “It’s time for Reebok to answer the 72,000 customers who want them to stop promoting violence against women and fire Rick Ross.”
See photos of the event here: http://bit.ly/reebokprotest
“As a survivor of campus rape, I know how harmful it is when sexual violence is not recognized for what it is: a violation of another human being. Reebok needs to take the responsible route and stand against the denial of the experiences of millions of rape victims around the world,” said attendee Wagatwe Wanjuki.
Attendees at the event held signs reading: “Hey Reebok! Want my business? Stop promoting rape. Drop Rick Ross.”
“It’s unacceptable that Reebok, one of the oldest brands in athletics, would stand behind someone who so openly condones rape. Companies like Reebok have a responsibility to the public. Propping up someone who rants about rape and paying that person millions of dollars is about as irresponsible as it gets. The Reebok board of directors should take immediate action,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW NYC, a group supporting and attending the protest.
Today’s event came on the heels of a full week of silence from Reebok as controversy over their spokesman’s conduct has grown. UltraViolet will announce further escalation of the campaign Monday if the company continues to use their brand to promote rape.
Reebok’s US Spokesperson Jenny Shanley can be reached at 781-401-4548.
The lyrics to Ross’ single, UOENO, that are under fire: “I die over these reeboks, you dont even know it / Put molly all in the champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoy that, she aint even know it.”