Pope Meets with NBA Delegation To Discuss Social Issues
As 2020 continues to surprise and astound, an NBA delegation met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday.
Reportedly, the Pope requested the meeting to discuss the NBA’s work on social issues, which took the world by storm.
Kyle Korver, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic attended the meeting. As well as that, Anthony Tolliver, Barco Belinelli and NBPA director Michele Roberts joined them in the Vatican.
“We’re here because, frankly, we’re inspired by the work that you do globally,” Roberts told the pope during the meeting, via ESPN.
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The Pope was particularly impressed when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for the playoff against Orlando.
It was a protest against continued racial brutality sparked by the feeling of helplessness from within the NBA’s Orlando bubble.
They discussed the NBA players’ “individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.”
“You’re champions,” Pope Francis said.
“But also giving the example of teamwork, you’ve become a model, giving that good example of teamwork but always remaining humble … and preserving your own humanity.”
“It was raw and emotional for our team,” Brown told the Pontiff of boycotting the game.
“We are extremely honored to have had this opportunity to come to the Vatican and share our experiences with Pope Francis,” Korver said.
“His openness and eagerness to discuss these issues was inspiring and a reminder that our work has had a global impact and must continue moving forward.”
The fact that the Pontiff requested the meeting is in itself significant and unprecedented. Michele Roberts said it “demonstrates the influence of their platforms.”
The group also presented Pope Francis with gifts including a commemorative basketball.