Rick Ross has issued an official apology to his former business partners at Reebok and women's rights organisations for making light of date rape in the lyrics of a new track. Ross was dropped as a Reebok spokesman on Thursday (11Apr13) following the controversy surrounding his pro-rape lyrics on Rocko's U.O.E.N.O. song. Outraged activists urged Reebok bosses to dump the heavyweight hip-hop star over the ill-advised rap and now Ross admits he understands the hurt and pain his lyrics have caused. A statement from him, released on Friday (12Apr13), reads: "Before I am an artist, I am a father, a son, and a brother to some of the most cherished women in the world. So for me to suggest in any way that harm and violation be brought to a woman is one of my biggest mistakes and regrets. "As an artist, one of the most liberating things is being able to paint pictures with my words. But with that comes a great responsibility. And most recently, my choice of words was not only offensive, it does not reflect my true heart. And for this, I apologize. To every woman that has felt the sting of abuse, I apologize." And he's now urging his male fans not to take date rape lightly, adding, "To the young men who listen to my music, please know that using a substance to rob a woman of her right to make a choice is not only a crime, it's wrong and I do not encourage it. To my fans, I also apologize if I have disappointed you. I can only hope that this sparks a healthy dialogue and that I can contribute to it." And it appears he has no hard feelings towards the Reebok officials who opted to drop him as a partner. In a tweet, he writes: "I want to thank Reebok Classics for their hard work and dedication over this past year. Good partners, good shoe. continued success."