Add New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to the long list of celebrities who’ve come out in support of rapper Meek Mill.
The Washington Post reports that Kraft visited Mill at a Pennsylvania state prison Tuesday, where the Philadelphia native is incarcerated. Mill, 30, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, received a 2-4 year sentence for parole violations in November, and the circumstances surrounding that sentence have invited a loud chorus of protesters demanding his release.
“I know some of our players in the NFL have talked about this, and I see firsthand that it’s just wrong,” Kraft told reporters outside the facility in Chester, Pa. “Amazing young man. I know how I’d feel if I was in the situation he is. 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.”
At the center of the controversy is Common Pleas court judge Genece Brinkley, who denied Mill bail at the start of the case. Many believe Brinkley has a personal vendetta against Mill. Brinkley, however, argues that Mill committed numerous parole violations since being released from prison in 2009 on drug possession and firearms charges.
The case has reportedly become a symbol of systematic oppression and racism in the justice system.
“We all believe in him and that the punishment bestowed upon him is excessive, is cruel and it’s motivated by unsavory circumstances,” 76ers legend Julius Erving said in support of Mill at a Philadelphia rally in November.