Slovenian athlete who wrote 'Free Meek Mill'on snowboard explains support for Philly rapper
Slovenian snowboarder Tit Stante recently brought Meek Mill’s case to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to show the incarcerated Philly rapper that he has “support from the whole world, not just the U.S.,” the young athlete says.
Stante, 19, made headlines last week after he showed off a “#FreeMeekMill” hashtag written on his snowboard following a qualifying run for the Games’ halfpipe competition on Monday. Stante ultimately placed out of the competition during the qualifying runs, landing in 25th out of 29 competitors, but his message to Mill went viral online.
Tit Stante; Olympic Snowborder pic.twitter.com/qTAAl8kGLc
— Jack (@JackTate25) February 13, 2018
The Slovenian snowboarder, it turns out, is a fan of Mill’s going back to the rapper’s 2015 album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, as he told Pitchfork in a recent interview.
“I really started listening to his music after he first came out of jail and released Dreams Worth More Than Money — ‘Lord Knows’ is one of my all time favorite songs,” Stante said. “After that I really started to be a fan and of course I’ve been follow his case ever since.”
As a result, Stante said he used the Olympic stage to voice his support for the rapper.
“There were a lot of things going through my head before writing that on my board,” Stante said. “Firstly, I wanted to show that Meek has support from the whole world, not just the U.S. And I wanted to point out that the U.S. justice system has a lot of flaws, and in my opinion the case of Meek is one of them.”
Stante, however, isn’t the first athlete to show his support for Mill. The rapper’s track “Dreams & Nightmares” came to serve as the unofficial anthem for the Eagles during the successful Super Bowl run, and several players have advocated for his release. And that’s in addition to management company Roc Nation’s “Stand With Meek Mill” billboard campaign that started last year.
“It really lifted my spirit to hear the team rally around my songs because that’s why I make music,” Mill said of the Birds’ use of his song in a statement. “To inspire others and bring people together. The Eagles have also motivated me with the way they’ve overcome tough situations and injuries to succeed this year.”
Mill, 30, is currently in prison on a two-to-four-year sentence issued by Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley in November due to probation violations. An appeal hearing in Mill’s case is reportedly scheduled for April.
As the Inquirer reported last week, the rapper’s lawyers are relying heavily on the claim that Mill’s arresting officer, Reggie Graham, lied to put Mill behind bars in 2007. As former Philly cop Jerold Gibson said in a sworn affidavit, Graham falsely accused Mill, then 19, of pointing a gun at police as he was arrested outside a suspected drug stash house in South Philadelphia.
Graham was also included on a secret list of about two dozen “tainted” officers compiled by the District Attorney’s Office last year, a separate Inquirer report indicated. Graham retired from the PPD last year, and has declined to comment on the case.
Published at Mon, 19 Feb 2018 23:41:52 +0000