Important Meeting Between NBA Players & Officials and Pope Francis

A delegation of NBA officials and players met privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss their efforts toward economic inequality and social justice. The visit came after the Vatican extended an invitation to the union of the players, saying that pope Francis wanted to learn more about their activities. The executive director of the National Basketball Association Michele Robers, joined Sterling Brown, Marco Belinelli, Kyle Korver, Anthony Tolliver, and Jonathan Isaac, players who are all active in the union, at the meeting.

NBA players meeting Pope Francis
Important Meeting Between NBA Players & Officials and Pope Francis

The NBA Players Talk About Their Experience

Korver shared that he thought it was a fraud email at first. When he found out that it wasn’t, he called Michele right away. After they found out that the meeting would be in two days, they realized that this came together really quickly.

After the 30-minute meeting, the officials and players still appeared stunned. They talked about it on video calls with reporters. Rogers revealed that she was still not sure that this really happened. The players offered the pope a book documenting many of their social and community initiatives in the last few months. They even showed jerseys and a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.

Korver said that pope Francis thought that sport was a great opportunity of bringing different people together.

A Huge Opportunity

NBA players meeting Pope Francis
Important Meeting Between NBA Players & Officials and Pope Francis

For the players, the meeting with the pope was a great opportunity to expand global awareness of the efforts to promote social justice after the recent events related to Black Americans at the hands of the police, including the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, and George Floyd in Minnesota.

The Pope discussed sports in terms of discipleship. Tolliver described Pope Francis as “super chill” and thought of him to be a great example. It really looks like the NBA players and officials had a very interesting conversation with the Pope.