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.
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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.
away a couple of weeks ago at the Orlando home of NFL superstar Edgerrin
Although he was never a politician, McAdoo was black
unofficial mayor. He got his nickname because as a kid, he shot the
like NBA great Bob McAdoo, now an assistant coach with the Miami Heat.
county commissioners counted on McAdoo to quietly get out the vote on
Day. From every superstar athlete to every rapper to every drug dealer
gangster knew McAdoo. When he spoke, everyone listened because they knew
love for the black community was genuine.
He lived not too far
Charles Hadley Park, where he would confront the hardest criminals and
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
athletes he had looked after during their days playing Pop
Warner/NYFLA and their time suiting up for the
He practically raised guys like former
High football all-stars Snoop Minnis and Nate Webster, who went on to
athletes. McAdoo paid for those boys to attend their senior proms and
dresses for their dates. He also helped other ex-Hurricanes players such
Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee, Santana Moss, and Andre
Johnson by giving them a little money or food or anything they
McAdoo's generosity is a big reason he had no problem persuading James
sponsor a scholarship program for kids playing Pop Warner at three
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
take the Miami kids up there himself.
He taught the children about
winning with class. He had them singing songs about honoring their
fathers. And when the games were over, he would tell all the boys to
another - that life wasn't about warring over turf and territory.
McAdoo also looked out after the kids who didn't make it out of the
as well as the elderly folks in the community. He created an aerobics
senior citizens and teenagers at Hadley Park that was a
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
jail. Those kids and their mothers had the biggest smiles on
faces. They were so happy to see McAdoo. He made every child feel
He created things that brought everybody
At his funeral this past Saturday,
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
FSU. I don't see anyone ever replacing McAdoo's legacy. He will
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
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