Raised in Philadelphia, Meek Mill never attended an Eagles game growing up, much less tossed footballs inside the team’s practice facility. Given a chance to show off his arm, the 35-year-old rapper and philanthropist lined up some kids and had them go deep on the same field where the best team in the NFL trains, reports the Associated Press. Meek and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin shared laughs Tuesday at an outing arranged to brighten the day for children from families caught in the criminal justice system. Rubin, who has sold his stake in the Philadelphia 76ers, co-founded the Reform Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to probation, parole and sentencing reform. Meek Mill, whose well-publicized prison sentence for minor probation violations became a lightning rod for the issue, is co-chairman.
His case caught the attention of criminal justice reform advocates after a judge sentenced him to two to four years in prison for violations of his probation conditions in a decade-old gun and drug possession case. He was incarcerated for months before a court ordered him released in 2018. Meek Mill successfully resumed his recording career and held a 10-year anniversary concert that celebrated his debut album “Dreams And Nightmares.” He’s been a big opening act of late, performing the title track and underdog anthem before Eagles games and at the World Series. “I’ve got purpose on top of everything I’m doing,” Meek Mill said. “Before I went to prison, of course I was famous, of course I was making money feeding my family, but the purpose I have now, it actually started from the way people supported me.” Born Robert Rihmeek Williams, he is free of the court supervision he’s been under most of his adult life. The rapper and the mogul have remained steadfast in advocating for criminal justice reform. The Reform Alliance said the group has been responsible for 16 bills passed in 10 states that resulted in changes to probation and parole laws. Meek Mill was honored in 2019 in his hometown of Philadelphia for his work as a criminal justice reform advocate and as a musician.
“We’ve actually created a pathway for 650,000 people to get out of the system already,” Rubin said.