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President Trump grants clemency to rapper Kodak Black after plea from Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

Two weeks after Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson made a public plea to President Donald Trump to have rapper Kodak Black’s prison sentence commuted, his friend has been granted clemency.

“Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, Kodak Black became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts. In fact, he has committed to supporting a variety of charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged,” according to a statement from the White House.

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The statement mentioned Jackson by name among Black’s supporters.

“Kodak Black is a prominent artist and community leader,” the White House said. “This commutation is supported by numerous religious leaders, including Pastor Darrell Scott and Rabbi Schneur Kaplan. Additional supporters include Bernie Kerik, Hunter Pollack, Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Jack Brewer formerly of the National Football League, and numerous other notable community leaders.”

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In November 2019, a U.S. District Court judge had sentenced Black, who was born Dieuson Octave and later changed his name to Bill Kapri, to more than three years in prison for lying about his criminal record to buy guns.

On Jan. 5, Jackson took to Twitter to ask Trump, who last year tweeted admiringly about the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player, to commute the sentence of Black, a childhood friend.

“Hey @realDonaldTrump @POTUS my friend @KodakBlack1k deserves to be commuted,” Jackson said. “The system punished him way to [sic] hard for a paperwork crime #freekodak.”

As his one-term presidency comes to an end, Trump announced pardons or commutations for over 100 people, including his former campaign chairman, his son-in-law’s father and another of his allies convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Jackson and Black, whose real name is Bill K. Kapri, grew up together in Pompano Beach, Florida. Black was in attendance for the Ravens’ 2018 regular-season finale at M&T Bank Stadium and celebrated with the team in the locker room after it clinched the AFC North title.

Jackson’s call to action wasn’t the first time he’s interacted with Trump on Twitter. In April 2020, Trump responded to a tweet with a video of Jackson and Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, Jackson’s teammate at Louisville.

“Really nice to see this and, what a great pick!” Trump said.

“Truzz Trump,” Jackson replied, using the mantra that’s been described in the Ravens’ locker room as an affirmation or form of acknowledgment.

The Associated Press and South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter Mario Ariza contributed to this article.

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