Flo Rida and NFL Stars Step Up To Help Kids In Overtown and Liberty City
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke gives props to a local rapper and four football players giving back to the neighborhood.
It's a shame more pro athletes and hip-hop entertainers living in Miami aren't as charitable as rapper Flo Rida and former and current NFL players Vernon Carey, Edgerrin James, Samari Rolle, and Brandon Harris. These four Miami natives plus James, who is Immokalee, have stepped up big-time for the African-American community in the past year. I wish there were more celebrities like them.
Flo Rida and his manager, Freezy, approached me last year about organizing a youth football league for boys in Miami Gardens and Broward County. With my help, Flo Rida got a charter to field a local team in the National Youth Football League, which helps more than 10,000 boys, plus girls through a cheerleading program.
He has started off with a bang.In addition to donating tens of thousands of dollars for uniforms, equipment, and other expenses, he recently held a free back-to-school concert at Traz Powell Stadium, where we gave away 10,000 book bags to needy kids. Flo Rida has invested a huge amount of time and money.
Carey has been a big benefactor for Miami Northwestern Senior High, where we're both volunteer coaches and where he won a state championship as a player in 1998. After retiring following eight seasons with the Miami Dolphins, he donated more than $50,000 to the school, which bought new weights and exercise equipment and renovated its weight room.
Rolle, a Miami Beach Senior High alum who played for the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, has committed $15,000 over the next three years to the Overtown Optimist Club. And Harris, a 22-year-old cornerback for the Houston Texans, recently donated thousands to the athletic program at his alma mater, Booker T. Washington, and to the Liberty City Optimist Club, where he played Pop Warner ball.
James, who is not from the Magic City, donated thousands of dollars to the Overtown and Liberty City optimist clubs during the past 13 years.
There are still too many other local rappers and sports stars who spend $100,000 on bottles in one night at clubs such as LIV but who can't spare a few dollars to buy some helmets or repaint a youth center. It's time they bring the Brinks truck to Charles Hadley Park in Liberty City and Gibson Park in Overtown.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.