In a show of support for the imprisoned rapper, the Philadelphia Eagles ran out onto the field Sunday with one of Meek Mill’s hits serving as their intro song.
Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was sentenced in September 2017 to two to four years in prison. A Philadelphia judge ruled that he had violated his probation on a 2008 conviction by failing a drug test and not obeying travel restrictions, according to the BBC.
But the rapper’s prison sentence sparked outrage, with many celebrities using the “FreeMeek” hashtag on social media to express their unhappiness over the verdict.
On Sunday, the Eagles made a statement by playing the rapper’s 2012 song “Dreams and Nightmares” as they took the field prior to Super Bowl LII.
It’s not the first time the team has publicly supported the rapper, who is a Philadelphia native and a big Eagles fan.
Following their Jan. 21 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game — a win that put them in the Super Bowl — the Eagles played the song in the locker room, CNN reported.
Moreover, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and wide receiver Torrey Smith attended a rally late last year in support of the rapper.
Williams himself, meanwhile, said in a statement that he’s happy the Eagles have been able to rally around his music. The sentiment, he noted, goes both ways.
“It really lifted my spirit to hear the team rally around my songs and that’s why I make music — to inspire others and bring people together,” he said. “The Eagles have also motivated me with the way they’ve overcome tough situations and injuries to succeed this year.”
According to PennLive, the rapper was given the opportunity to watch the Super Bowl on TV while in prison.
During the game itself and afterward, many celebrities and sports stars took to Twitter to call for Williams to be released, while also congratulating the Eagles on their victory over the New England Patriots.
As reported by CNN, the 30-year-old rapper’s lawyer plans to appeal the sentence, arguing that the judge in the case, Genece E. Brinkley, is personally biased against Williams.
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