One of the Philadelphia 76ers’ most prominent fans won’t accompany the team to its second-round playoff series in Toronto.
According to 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, a Pennsylvania judge has denied rapper Meek Mill’s probation request to travel with the team out of the country as they face the Raptors for Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Rubin posted on Instagram that the 76ers had filed for preliminary approval with probation officials, a request that was granted but then struck down by Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley, according to the owner.
Mill, a Philadelphia native whose music has become a soundtrack for the city’s sports franchises, was released from prison a year ago after serving a five-month sentence for violating the terms of his probation stemming from a gun and drug conviction in 2008.
Upon his release, Mill was flown by Rubin to Wells Fargo Center via helicopter to sit courtside and ring the ceremonial bell before tip-off of the 76ers’ Game 5 against the Miami Heat. Mill and his attorneys have alleged Judge Brinkley’s conduct while presiding over the case violated ethics rules.
“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? Do you also hate PHILLY?” Rubin wrote in his Instagram post, which included side-by-side photos of Mill and Judge Brinkley.
Rubin in his post wrote that the team provided Judge Brinkley the series schedule days in advance, but the judge did not respond to requests for approval. In his crusade for post-conviction relief, Mill has used his case to spotlight how long offenders remain entangled in the legal system after serving their sentences.
The 76ers defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs and will face the Raptors in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series Saturday night.