Professional athletes meet with Pope Francis to discuss social justice


Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he delivers a blessing message at the Vatican.

With the social issues the country has faced throughout the year, many people feel like racial and social issues are only getting worse as time goes by.

When regular civilians speak out on injustices to superstar athletes and input their opinions and feelings when will enough be enough? Who or what can pivot everything to a more positive and equal position?

While no single human or thing can subject the influence of billions of people, maybe men of importance can. Superstar athletes from the National Basketball Association, Jonathan Isaac, Sterling Brown, Marco Belinelli, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver met with Pope Francis to see what he can offer support and guidance to these young influential men.

With the Vatican offering the players to come and speak on it, there was a moment of doubt coming from the stars. Most of them thought it was a scam email but quickly got assured that it was real and that if they were able to fly out there immediately.

Meeting with the pope had to be one of the more stressful and nerve-racking moments for these players, but their perception of him changed once they began interacting with the man.

The stars were surprised when he revealed he has a history of being interested in the Harlem Globetrotters, and he was cracking a few jokes with them.

When the ice began to break a little, the players and the pope began diving into the social issues going on in the United States, with the pope unveiling that he had “great concern” for what was going on in the latter part of the year with the riots and protests.

Pope Francis also started to share ideas with the players, although only one could truly understand and translate, that being now-former San Antonio Spurs player Marco Belinelli.

The pope offered the athletes they should humbly use their platform to provide as much awareness to the increase of racism without invoking any possible hurtful scenarios.

He also added that the men are a team outside of sports. They have the influence and the power to fight these social issues and provide more awareness of such horrific things using lockouts and peaceful protests.

Pope Francis also reminded them he wanted to fight for change in not only racism but also world hunger and poverty. He brings up his October encyclical, Brothers all, where he details that they thought issues such as racism should have long been over with but that it just seems to reemerge more savagely and cruelly continuously.

“Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think,” said Pope Francis.

Milwaukee Bucks player, Sterling Brown, reveals that he feels like he has more responsibility to provide more awareness to the world with the social injustices that occur in the United States. Brown, involved in a 2018 settlement case in Milwaukee, resulting in a $750,000 win due to proof of police tasing the young star.

“Nobody gets to do this where I’m from,” said Brown. “For me to be one of them, I can definitely take this and hold this and let people know I’m out trying to make a change.”

For Brown, the social injustices have a deeper meaning to him. Being directly affected and previously speaking out on the Black Lives Matter movement, having this situation where the police tased him can only motivate the Shooting Guard to do everything he can to have everyone’s voices heard.

The executive director of the National Basketball Association, Michele Roberts, is the one that organized this meet.

She believes that this meeting gives the fans, players, and even herself the feeling that they are heading in the right direction for improvement. “You have confirmation from a man that spends his time giving himself to others, saying you’re doing exactly what you should be doing and motivates you to keep going with it,” said Roberts.

With this being in the development, there can be more faith and hope that these injustices will soon become solved, or the social change can eradicate such horrendous actions and viewpoints soon.

Maybe more people with high status can give more awareness to these injustices and why they are wrong, with ways to help the ones affected.