Not every Bad Boy intern turns to a career in music by choosing to become the next Diddy or Jay Z. One former intern is Ben Meiselas, a 33-year-old attorney who represented Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid in their lawsuit against the NFL. Ben, along with his father Kenny Meiselas, were awarded at Variety‘s Power Of Law event at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Wednesday.
“Man, when I heard that Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid were suing the NFL, I was like, good luck!” said Combs, addressing the audience. “I was like, ‘Whatever lawyer took this, they’ve got their hands full.’ And then I look and I’m like, ‘That’s my intern — what?’”
“It’s one of the biggest wins in legal history, and especially the topic and the state America’s in,” Diddy continued. “To have that impact and to come up with a solution for something that was affecting America and really pulling us apart. Figuring out that solution is a testament to you Kenny, and also to Ben. I just wanna say I’m proud of you.”
Diddy also revealed that because he’d lost his father at an early age, he always looked at Kenny as a father figure. “I have something I want to confess to Kenny right now,” Combs said. “I lost my father when I was 2, so whenever I would have some real serious problems that I would have to go to ask my father (about), like being in jail or getting somebody pregnant” — a trickle of laughter emerged among the audience — “or wanting to know what I was gonna go through in my life and my future, I called my lawyer. I called Kenny. And he didn’t notice, but I was calling him ‘big brother’ — but in my head, he was dad.”
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Reid was at the event and sang Ben’s praises for standing by them through the “take a knee” controversy. “I refused to be one of those people who watches injustices and yet does nothing. I want to be someone my children and children’s children could be proud of,” Reid told the crowd. “When I was being blackballed…around that time, I learned from Colin that he had hired a young, brash attorney by the name of Ben Meiselas who specialized in civil rights cases and fighting for the underdog across the country.”
“Ben not only represented myself and Colin, but he was there to counsel dozens of other players in the NFL that were reaching out to us for advice, all while the NFL was trying to implement a new policy that would force us to stop our protests,” Reid continued. “We didn’t back down,” and “I still take a knee… He was there for Colin and I when our own union and our own teammates turned their back on us for fear of repercussions.”