Pope discusses social justice with NBA delegation

Pope Francis meets the delegation from the National Basketball Players Association during a private audience at the Vatican yesterday (CNS/Vatican Media)

A delegation from the US National Basketball Players Association, the union representing NBA players, met Pope Francis yesterday to discuss their work in promoting social justice. Source: Crux.

The players association said the group meeting the Pope yesterday included: Marco Belinelli, from the San Antonio Spurs; Sterling Brown and Kyle Korver, of the Milwaukee Bucks; Jonathan Isaac of Orlando Magic; and free agent Anthony Tolliver.

The NBPA said the meeting “provided an opportunity for the players to discuss their individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.”

NBA players have been vocal on social justice issues throughout the year, especially after the death of George Floyd by police officers in May sparked massive protests across the United States.

Before resuming the basketball season following its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the union and the NBA reached a deal to display social justice messages on their jerseys.

Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBPA, said in a statement that the meeting with the Pope “validates the power of our players’ voices.”

“That one of the most influential leaders in the world sought to have a conversation with them demonstrates the influence of their platforms,” Ms Roberts said.


Pope meets with NBA players’ union delegation at the Vatican (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS via Crux)

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