Photo credits: Associated Press/Alan Diaz
The Floridian municipality of Miami-Dade County is synonymous with the NBA’s Heat franchise, the MLB’s Marlins franchise, and the NFL’s Dolphins franchise.
The Southeast coastal region of Florida is also synonymous with a bounce-heavy style of hip-hop music, which still influences the more modern sonic Southern rap sounds of other places, such as New Orleans, Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia. One of the early pioneers of this urban music sound bed was Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell (pictured).
Campbell, 56, is a veteran hip-hop impresario who was a founding member and leader of the highly controversial, yet legendary Miami-based rap group 2 Live Crew. Campbell is also an established song producer with a highly-valued music publishing catalog. He has also enjoyed slivers of fame as an actor in a number of motion pictures.
However, more importantly, Campbell is a steward and strong social advocate for Miami’s underprivileged and forgotten black youth population. He is particularly active in coordinating youth sports initiatives in the inner-city.
The music mogul used social media to announce in 2014 that he was a defensive coordinator for the Miami Norland Senior High School football team. Campbell also is using another one of his hats as a newspaper columnist for the Miami New Times to advocate for black children who are athletes.
In an article published by the Miami New Times this past Thursday (July 13th), Campbell calls out the Miami Heat NBA franchise for not giving enough help to inner-city sports organizations with black children despite the fact that the team is receiving $6.4 million per year in public taxpayer money to fund an operating subsidy through 2030.
“Right now, the next LeBron James or Dwyane Wade could be a kid hitting three-pointers inside one of the new gyms at Overtown’s Gibson Park or Liberty City’s Charles Hadley Park. Mickey Arison and Pat Riley wouldn’t know because Heat officials do not engage Miami’s black community,” Campbell wrote in his eye-opening column.
Arison is the owner of the Heat professional basketball franchise and Riley is the former NBA coaching legend who now runs the Heat’s basketball operations. Campbell believes that more can and should be done by Arison and Riley to foster the hidden talent inside the urban core of Miami-Dade County.
“Even the Miami Marlins, the city’s most hated sports franchise, does more than the Heat. The Marlins have a tremendous community outreach program that encourages black kids to pick up baseball as a sport,” Campbell also wrote.
“The team pays for uniforms and equipment for more than 500 children who participate in a summer league and clinics hosted by current and former players and coaches,” Campbell went on to write. To read Campbell’s Miami New Times column in its entirety, visit the research source given for this article below.