💡 Get Philly smart 💡
with BP’s free daily newsletter

Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

Updated April 25

When word got out that Meek Mill might show up at the Sixers game Tuesday night, people thought perhaps the Wells Fargo Center might explode.

Wait, what?

After nearly six months in Chester SCI, rapper Meek Mill was released from prison Tuesday afternoon following an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The court directed Judge Genece Brinkley to immediately issue an order to release the rapper, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, immediately.

In its decision, the court cited the credibility issues of a “critical witness” whose testimony originally helped convict Meek — that witness was a Philly Police officer who has recently been found to have routinely falsified testimony. The Philly District Attorney’s Office recently tossed three cases connected to that same sketchy cop, and has said it was not opposed to Meek being granted bail on the same grounds.

The PA Supreme Court did not remove Judge Brinkley, who repeatedly refused to grant Meek bail, from the case, as Mill’s lawyers had requested. But the court did note that “a jurist may opt to remove himself or herself from presiding over the matter “in the interests of justice.”

Meek Mill celebrated his release on Twitter, and promised the city he’d commit to justice for other people of color caught up in the criminal justice system.

Although the reasons behind the rapper’s release are complex, and his case had become a touchstone for reforming the criminal justice system, what Philly Twitter really cared about — at least in the hours after the news broke — was whether Meek would make an appearance courtside.

One major goal: to have Mill ring the bell at Tuesday night’s Sixers game.

A New York Times reporter who spoke with team co-owner Michael Rubin shortly after the news broke got the first hint it might actually happen.

And then — after Meek Mill became likely the first prisoner ever to leave the Chester SCI state prison facility in a helicopter — it did happen.

Leading up to that moment, there were those who were super into the idea:


And those who were happily oblivious:

Some people got superstitious:


While others worried about the repercussions of such Philadelphia confluence:

And some were just happy to see Meek breathe some fresh air:

Meek is a known Sixers fan — the first Instagram he posted after being released was of him at a game with comedy celeb and fellow Philly native Kevin Hart. Plus, co-owner Rubin has not only been an active supporter, visiting the rapper in prison at least twice (along with several Sixers players) during his five-month stint, he actually picked Meek up upon his release Tuesday.

Come 8 p.m. tonight, the Sixers game could be absolute chaos. Philly, you miiiiight wanna grease the poles.

Avatar photo

Michaela Winberg

Michaela Winberg is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She covers LGBTQ people and culture, public spaces, and transportation and mobility. She also sometimes produces radio and web features...