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NBPA Delegation Meets with Pope Francis

NBPA Delegation Meets with Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY, November 23, 2020– 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 (5) 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 honored 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.”

For media inquiries, please reach out to communications@nbpa.com.


About the NBPA

The National Basketball Players Association is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA’s mission is to protect and support the rights and talents of our players, magnify the power of their collective will, and amplify their voices as leaders who will transcend sport and society globally.

The NBPA advocates on behalf of the best interests of all NBA players, including the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, the filing of grievances on behalf of the players, or counseling players on benefits, educational and post-NBA career opportunities. Business opportunities are generated by THINK450, the subsidiary of the NBPA charged with managing the players’ group licensing rights.

Dedicated to preserving the legacy of its members, the NBPA Foundation provides support and assistance to persons, communities and organizations around the world that seek to improve the lives of those in need.

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