Rapper Meek Mill is such a big fan of his hometown basketball team, the Philadelphia 76ers, that when Mill was released from prison last April, he was flown in a helicopter directly to the 76ers' arena, where he rang the ceremonial bell before a playoff game that night. This was arranged by Michael Rubin, the apparel billionaire who is part-owner of the Sixers and had advocated for Mill's release, per USA Today.
However, just over a year after his release, Mill won't be joining the Sixers on the road for their upcoming second-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors. According to Philly Voice, this is because a judge has denied the rapper's request to leave the country in order to attend the first game of the series. This happened even though Mill's probation officer had granted such permission.
"I know you have a vendetta against Meek Mill and are obsessed with trying to control every aspect of his life, but did you really NOT approve him to go to rep the sixers in Toronto for the game?" Rubin asked in an Instagram post on Saturday. "Do you also hate PHILLY?"
Rubin added that it's not only for international travel -- Mill is required to ask permission every time he leaves the state of Pennsylvania.
Rubin wasn't the only one calling on Instagram for Mill to attend the game. Even the most famous fan of the Sixers' second-round opponents -- and a man who engaged in a well-publicized feud with the rapper a few years ago -- has called for him to be allowed to come to Canada.
"They gotta let Meek into the city it's only right," Drake posted to Instagram on Friday, per Philly Voice. "We got a classic series on our hands."Mill, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was in prison on a probation violation when another local team, the Philadelphia Eagles, won the Super Bowl early last year, even as the team entered the field to Meek's song "Dreams and Nightmares."
Many athletes and athletic figures called for the rapper to be freed and visited him in jail -- even Robert Kraft, the owner of the Eagles' rival New England Patriots. That team, prior to Kraft's well-publicized legal troubles, even invited Meek to perform at a Super Bowl after-party back in February, much to the consternation of some Patriots-hating Philadelphia fans.
If the decision isn't reversed, Mill will still have a chance to cheer on the 76ers, as the third and fourth games in the series will be played in Philadelphia.