In a letter obtained by Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin said he is "personally invested" in helping Meek Mill before he was sentenced up to four years in prison for violating his probation earlier this year by Judge Genece E. Brinkley. The letter was sent to Brinkley on November 3rd, three days before Mill was scheduled to appear in court for his hearing.
"While he may come from a different world and upbringing than many of us, we all recognize his talent and the impact that he can have in the broader community," Rubin wrote. "Our world is too often divided. We need people like Meek that can be the bridge-builders and difference makers to pull people of all walks of life together."
A Philadelphia native himself, Rubin said he has known Mill for years and considers the rapper one of his closest friends. They see other in person "most weeks" and speak by phone "nearly every day." Rubin acknowledged Mill's mistakes in his letter – 'I explained to [my daughter] that I recognize Meek did some dumb things in the past and was working hard to make things right," Rubin wrote — but said he has a "bright future" and a "unique opportunity to inspire young men at a time when others are tearing them down."
He continued, adding: "I also recognize that he might not have handled himself well with you and that we have very different impressions of him. I hope to have an opportunity to work together to help Meek realize his potential as an artist and use his growing influence and resources to give back to Philadelphia and other communities like us."
Rubin noted Mill's work in the community as well, saying Mill would not let the 76ers pay him for headlining the Sixers Foundation Youth Gala despite the fact that he helped raise nearly $1 million. Furthermore, Rubin said he has personally witnessed Mill "engage in quiet acts of charity and uncommon decency to those less fortunate than him."
"I would hate to see him incarcerated for these violations," Rubin finished the letter, adding: "I truly believe that such a sentence would destroy his future."
Many other rappers and artists have come to support Mill, including Jay-Z who has publicly called the sentencing "unjust and heavy-handed." While promoting the video "Trap and a Dream," the first single featured on A$AP Ferg's album Still Striving, Ferg encouraged fans to support efforts to get justice for his collaborator. "Meek is my brother and will forever have my support, especially in these tough times," Ferg wrote in a statement.
Read Rubin's letter in its entirety here.