Pope Francis hosts NBA players after season defined by social justice activism

Pope Francis hosts NBA players after season defined by social justice activism

11/23/2020 6:50:00 PM

Pope Francis hosts NBA players after season defined by social justice activism

The meeting provides an indication of the pontiff’s priorities — and of the reach of athlete activism in the United States.

ADADThe Vatican, as is customary, did not provide details on the nature of the meeting, other than to say Francis met with the group.According to theNational Basketball Players Association, a Vatican official had reached out to set up the meeting. Three players’ union executives met with the pope, as did players Kyle Korver, Sterling Brown, Marco Belinelli, Anthony Tolliver and Jonathan Isaac. The meeting came together hastily, with the league opening training camps next week: Players flew from the United States on Sunday night and met with the pope hours after touching down in Rome.

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A Vatican Media photo of the meeting, which took place in the papal library, showed that neither Francis nor the visitors were wearing masks. Throughout the pandemic, the pope has— and apparently asked visitors to do the same. Even people who have arrived at the Vatican wearing masks remove them when meeting with the pontiff, in a practice that has perplexed outsiders and caused concern among some Vatican officials.

ADADIn a statement after the meeting, the players association said the athletes who met with Francis had a chance to “discuss their individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.” headtopics.com

Their meeting comes in the wake of an extraordinary season that was paused because of the emerging pandemic and then restarted in a Disney World campus bubble — where players jerseys’ had social justice slogans and the court was painted with the words “Black Lives Matter.”

Read more: The Washington Post »

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