Rapper Meek Mill played a major, never-to-be-forgotten role in the Philadelphia Eagles’ march to their first-ever Super Bowl championship, which they won one year ago today — even though he was incarcerated at the time.
Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, was born and raised in Philadelphia, getting his start as a rapper there. During the 2017 season, when the Eagles were making their run to the Super Bowl, Mill inspired them, per a story in The Undefeated prior to last year’s Super Bowl. The Eagles entered the stadium to Mill’s song “Dreams and Nightmares” before several games that season, including the Super Bowl itself.
Meanwhile, Eagles players, including Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins, expressed their support for criminal justice reform, and cited Mill while doing so. Several Eagles players even appeared at a “Free Meek Mill” rally during the season.
When Mill was released from prison last April, he was flown straight to Philadelphia’s sports complex by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, and attended that evening’s game, per Billboard. When the Eagles’ 2018 season began, Mill attended the first game as a guest of owner Jeffrey Lurie, and Mill’s album that was released last year was even titled Championships.
This week, Mill once again participated in a Super Bowl celebration — for the team the Eagles had defeated, the New England Patriots. The Patriots were celebrating their victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday night.
Mill performed at a Patriots championship party Sunday night, just days after Mill’s music had appeared in an official Patriots hype video. Mill had famously had his music in an Eagles hype video the year before.
So why was the Philly guy and Eagles fan at the Patriots party? A separate pre-Super Bowl event that also attracted Mill, per the Hollywood Reporter, was put on by the sports apparel company Fanatics, which is owned by Michael Rubin; that’s the one where Cardi B appeared and danced with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Another reason is that Kraft has partnered with Rubin and Mill on a criminal justice reform group called Reform Alliance. Kraft had also visited Mill while he was incarcerated.
Still, the news was not greeted happily in the rapper’s hometown of Philadelphia. Philadelphia sports website Crossing Broad called Meek Mill’s appearance at the party “a blow to your soul.”
“Meek… why would you do this to us?,” asked Twitter user Eagles Nation.