via Zach Lowe:
In an unprecedented meeting, a delegation of five NBA players and several officials from the National Basketball Players Association met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday morning for a private audience to discuss their work on social justice issues.
An assistant to Pope Francis reached out to the players’ association last week indicating the Pope wanted to learn more about how players had recently brought attention to pressing social justice issues and economic inequality — and what they planned for the future, union officials told ESPN. The union agreed and quickly scheduled an overnight flight Sunday to make their private meeting with the pope, which happened at 11:45 a.m. local time Monday morning at the Vatican….
The delegation included Kyle Korver and Sterling Brown; Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic; Anthony Tolliver, the union’s secretary-treasurer; Marco Belinelli; and Michele Roberts, executive director of the players’ union….
“We’re here because, frankly, we’re inspired by the work that you do globally,” Roberts told the pope during the meeting, according to The Associated Press.
The union said the players spoke about their “individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.”