Patriots owner Robert Kraft visits rapper Meek Mill, pushes for his release from prison
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft paid a visit to a Pennsylvania prison on Tuesday for a meeting with jailed rapper Meek Mill.
Kraft and fellow billionaire Michael Rubin, co-owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, have taken up the cause in support of the Philly native, who's serving a two-to-four year sentence for a probation violation.
"Amazing young man. I know how I’d feel if I was in the situation he is," Kraft said outside the state prison in Chester City. "Every time I see him, I just come away more impressed. He’s very intelligent. And makes it clear to me we have to do something with criminal justice reform."
The push to free Mill has become a rallying cry of sorts in the sports world, with the Philadelphia Eagles among the most vocal. Malcolm Jenkins said the Eagles used Mill's music often during their run-up to the Super Bowl. He and teammates Chris Long and Torrey Smith are among NFL players backing justice reform.
After defeating Kraft's Patriots in the Super Bowl, Eagles players shouted "Free Meek!" in their locker room.
Last week, the case reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with Mill's attorneys calling a judge not granting his release on bail a "vindictive and erroneous decision."
Mill, 30, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, originally was arrested in 2007 on drug and weapons charges. He was granted parole in 2009, but later tested positive for drugs and committed other parole violations.
He received his two-to-four year sentence last November, which advocacy groups say is not an uncommon practice. According to The Atlantic, half of Philadelphia’s pretrial jail population is held without bail for violating their parole or probation.
“It’s just sad,” Kraft said. “This guy is a great guy and shouldn’t be here.”
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