- Pope Francis on Monday met with five players from the NBA to discuss social and economic injustice.
- “With the Pope’s support and blessing, we are excited to head into this next season reinvigorated to keep pushing for change and bringing our communities together,” said Anthony Tolliver, a forward with the Memphis Grizzlies.
- “This meeting validates the power of our players’ voices,” said Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association.
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The holiest man in Catholicism met with a delegation of professional basketball players on Monday to discuss their efforts to combat injustice in the United States.
“We are extremely honoured to have had this opportunity,” Kyle Korver, a three-point specialist with the Milwaukee Bucks,said in a statement following a meeting with Pope Francis.
Korver was joined by four other players at the Vatican, where they discussed their efforts to address “social and economic injustice and inequality,” according to their union, the National Basketball Players Association.
“With the Pope’s support and blessing, we are excited to head into this next season reinvigorated to keep pushing for change and bringing our communities together,” Anthony Tolliver, a forward with the Memphis Grizzlies, commented.
The meeting comes after a number of NBA teams boycotted games this summer and fall in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The protests led the NBA to take steps to promote voter registration.
Over the summer, Pope Francis condemned the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He then extended an invite to the NBA players, Axios reported.
Michele Roberts, executive director of the players’ union, said the pope’s blessing was vindication.
“This meeting validates the power of our players’ voices,” Roberts said. “That one of the most influential leaders in the world sought to have a conversation with them demonstrates the influence of their platforms.”
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