Meek Mill Cancels Visit To White House To Talk Prison Reform

Last year, Meek Mill was sentenced to a shockingly long prison term for a probation violation. The response was a widespread outcry from Meek’s peers and from the general public. And last month, Meek was released from prison. Since then, Meek has become a visible and eloquent public advocate for prison reform. But from the looks of things, Meek will not bring this particular cause to the White House.

Yesterday, TMZ reported that Meek had been invited to the White House to speak to Donald Trump about prison reform. But TMZ now reports that Meek has cancelled his visit, at least in part because Jay-Z — a friend and advocate for Meek and also the founder of Roc Nation, the management company that represents Meek — convinced him that it would be a bad look. In a statement to TMZ, Meek says, “Unfortunately, the focus turned to the President and Myself which concerned me that it might take away from creating a positive result from today’s discussions.”

One of Meek’s friends and advocates is New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is a Trump supporter. But there are certainly signs that a productive conversation with Trump about prison reform would be impossible; privately owned prisons have been thriving during his presidency. In any case, we now have some context for this baffling thing:

UPDATE: Meek’s publicist writes in to say that it’s “just not true” that Jay convinced Meek to skip the White House visit and that “Meek made that decision on his own.” Here’s Meek’s full statement:

I was originally scheduled to be part of a panel on Prison Reform at the White House to help shed light on the issues within the system. Unfortunately, the focus turned to the President and myself which concerned me that it might take away from creating a positive result from today’s discussions. As a result, I decided not to attend, so that the focus would be solely on fixing our prison system. Most importantly, I remain fully committed to improving our criminal justice system.