NBA players visit the Holy Land

Zaidyn Jeffries, Staff writer

On November 23, five NBA players went to the Vatican. Kyle Korver, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Anthony Tolliver, and Marco Belinelli traveled to Italy to talk about social justice issues going on in the world. Belinelli addressed Pope Francis in Italian, and the group gave gifts to the Pope, such as a commemorative basketball, and a Orlando Magic jersey. 

Pope Francis said to the players: “You’re champions, but also giving the example of teamwork… Always remaining humble, and preserving your own humanity.” NBA players have been protesting over the last few months. Ever since George Floyd was killed on May 25, players have been demanding change in the country, and talking to the Pope about this issue is a great way to cause change. NBA players have even had the option of putting a message on the back of their jerseys. For example Kyle Korver has “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his jersey. 

Social justice is a problem everywhere and NBA players calling for justice can impact younger generations by teaching younger generations how to stand up for themselves and protest for what they believe. The NBA stopped playing for a day to protest racial injustice after the shooting of Jacob Blake. All games that day were postponed. Some people were upset about the NBA stopping play that day, but the players threatened to not play the rest of the season.

The NBA has had a rough season, but they plan on starting pre-season games on December 11 even though some players want more time off because they only had a few months off instead of the whole summer and fall. Some players play every day of every week of every month of every year, taking breaks and those players are the ones who do the best.