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Civic Engagement

NBA players meet with Pope Francis, discuss social justice

VATICAN CITY - A delegation from the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) met with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican earlier today. The meeting, held at the papal library of the Apostolic Palace, provided an opportunity for the Players to discuss their individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.

The NBPA's group included five Players, each of whom has been active in their own pursuits of various social justice initiatives. The players were:

  • Marco Belinelli
  • Sterling Brown
  • Jonathan Isaac
  • Kyle Korver
  • Anthony Tolliver

NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts also attended the meeting together with Sherrie Deans, Executive Director of the NBPA Foundation and Matteo Zuretti, the NBPA's Chief of International Relations.

"We are extremely honoured to have had this opportunity to come to the Vatican and share our experiences with Pope Francis," said Kyle Korver. "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."

"Today's meeting was an incredible experience," said Anthony Tolliver. "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."

"This meeting validates the power of our Players' voices," said Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the NBPA. "That one of the most influential leaders in the world sought to have a conversation with them demonstrates the influence of their platforms. I remain inspired by our Players' continued commitment to serve and support our community."

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