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Uncle Luke Remembers a Neighborhood Legend

Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once 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 eulogizes one of Miami's unseen black leaders.

Miami's

black community recently lost a great person, a man who touched the lives of a

lot of folks from Liberty City to West Perrine. His name is Michael Wright, but

anyone familiar with Miami-Dade County football knew him as McAdoo.


He passed

away a couple of weeks ago at the Orlando home of NFL superstar Edgerrin

James.

Although he was never a politician, McAdoo was black

Miami's

unofficial mayor. He got his nickname because as a kid, he shot the

basketball

like NBA great Bob McAdoo, now an assistant coach with the Miami Heat.

City and

county commissioners counted on McAdoo to quietly get out the vote on

Election

Day. From every superstar athlete to every rapper to every drug dealer

to every

gangster knew McAdoo. When he spoke, everyone listened because they knew

his

love for the black community was genuine.

He lived not too far

from

Charles Hadley Park, where he would confront the hardest criminals and

tell them

to leave the kids alone to play. He wasn't the type of activist who

would go in

front of the city commission and beg for money. All he had to do was

pick up the

phone and speak to the politicians directly. He did the same with

professional

athletes he had looked after during their days playing Pop

Warner/NYFLA and their time suiting up for the

University of

Miami Hurricanes.

He practically raised guys like former

Northwestern

High football all-stars Snoop Minnis and Nate Webster, who went on to

become NFL

athletes. McAdoo paid for those boys to attend their senior proms and

bought

dresses for their dates. He also helped other ex-Hurricanes players such

as

Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee, Santana Moss, and Andre

Johnson by giving them a little money or food or anything they

needed.

McAdoo's generosity is a big reason he had no problem persuading James

to

sponsor a scholarship program for kids playing Pop Warner at three

different

parks in Miami. Every year, McAdoo and James put together a fun-filled event with rides and kid shows in

Immokalee, the former UM running back's hometown. McAdoo would get the

buses and

take the Miami kids up there himself.

He taught the children about

respect and

winning with class. He had them singing songs about honoring their

mothers and

fathers. And when the games were over, he would tell all the boys to

love one

another - that life wasn't about warring over turf and territory.

But

McAdoo also looked out after the kids who didn't make it out of the

inner city,

as well as the elderly folks in the community. He created an aerobics

class for

senior citizens and teenagers at Hadley Park that was a

huge

success. There was a waiting list for people to join.

I remember one

time I was

walking with him in Liberty City, and McAdoo pointed out the children

whose fathers were part of a drug gang whose members were sent

to

jail. Those kids and their mothers had the biggest smiles on

their

faces. They were so happy to see McAdoo. He made every child feel

accepted.

He created things that brought everybody

together.

At his funeral this past Saturday,

McAdoo was

eulogized for several hours. The funeral director read the name of every person who brought McAdoo flowers. Minnis read from a letter McAdoo sent him when he was

attending

FSU. I don't see anyone ever replacing McAdoo's legacy. He will

be

sorely missed.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.


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