Bleacher Report just revealed their Power 50 list, which profiles 2018's 50 most influential people in sports culture. Among them is Meek Mill, and his close friend and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner, Michael Rubin. Both their respective features reveal some interesting points about each other, with Rubin's profile in particular mentioning how Meek will be involved in a "major foundation" that'll focus on criminal justice reform.
When asked what the two were doing together to repair a system in dire need of fixing, Rubin explained, "Over the last six months, I've probably spent about a third of my time on criminal justice reform, because the whole system is totally broken." He adds that the day Meek was sentenced provoked a big reaction from him, and that's why he's been devoting so much of his time to it ever since.
"So we're taking on the whole criminal justice system now, and we're gonna be announcing a major foundation soon," he told Bleacher Report. "I'm going to be highly involved with it, Meek's going to be highly involved with it, and some other big people who you know and follow and care about will also be very involved with it. We think we can launch what will be the most impactful foundation within criminal justice reform and create a movement."
"I was wrongfully convicted of a crime I didn't do in 2007. My entire adult life, I've been on probation," Meek previously told Rubin during a prison visit. "I've been sent back to jail numerous times even though I never committed a new crime. But for the first time—this time—I know the world's fighting for me, and that makes me so happy... And if I've got to sit in jail to help fix this system, I'm good with that."
In Meek's profile, he explained why it was that Rubin was so taken aback by the criminal justice system's unfair treatment of minorities: "It's like this, it's real simple—he's a white Jewish billionaire guy and he became friends with a black kid from the ghetto that actually rose up above all that and started doing his own thing. But then when it all happened, he'd never witnessed this side of the system ever in his life, because he was never treated this way. For him, he's like, 'How did my friend just get a four-year sentence for not committing a crime?' For him, it's like, 'I've never seen no shit like this, and it doesn't sit well with me.'"
Rubin immediately saw that Meek needed more people of affluence or power on his side, and as such he brought along Patriots owner Robert Kraft to one of his visits to see Meek in prison. “I remember Robert was shocked by how well Meek was keeping it all together," Rubin explained. "Robert asked him how he managed to stay strong, and Meek said, 'This has been my whole life. It's all I know, but for the first time, I have people fighting for me. And I'm so appreciative of that.' That really stuck with Robert."