New England Patriots owner visited Meek Mill at State Correctional Institution Chester, where he told reporters that the Philly rapper is “a great guy” who “shouldn’t be here.”
Kraft was joined in the visit by 76ers and New Jersey Devils minority owner Michael Rubin, who has been a vocal supporter of Mill since his initial two- to four-year sentence for probation violations last year.
“Amazing young man. I know how I’d feel if I was in the situation he is,” Kraft told reporters outside the prison. “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.”
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) April 10, 2018
Kraft has become the latest sports world figure to lend his support to Mill. During last year’s Super Bowl run, the Eagles used Mill’s music as a way to motivate themselves before games, and sung along to the Philly native’s “Dreams and Nightmares” after defeating Kraft’s Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.
76ers Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have also come out in support of releasing Mill from prison. As has Sixers great Julius Erving, who led November’s #FreeMeekMill rally alongside Rock Ross and the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith, Jalen Mills and Wendell Smallwood. Rappers Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and T.I., among others, have also shown support for Mill since last year’s sentencing.
On Tuesday, Mill released a music video for “1942 Flows” off of his album Wins & Losses that features footage of November’s protest here in Philadelphia.
Mill’s case last week hit the Pennsylvania Supreme Court thanks to a motion filed by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office reiterating that it would not oppose the rapper being released from prison on bail. Judge Genece Brinkley, who has been heading up Mill’s case, has denied Mill’s request for bail, and declined to recuse herself from legal proceedings.
Mill, 30, real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, was initially arrested on drug and gun charges in 2007. Since then, the District Attorney’s office has released a list of “tainted” police officers deemed unfit to testify in court that included Reginald V. Graham, Mill’s arresting officer. In February, former Philadelphia police officer Jerold Gibson said in sworn statement that Graham lied under oath to put Mill behind bars.
“It’s just sad,” Kraft said at SCI-Chester on Tuesday. “This guy is a great guy and shouldn’t be here.”