Pope Francis receives MLK jersey from Atlanta Hawks
This photo taken on Jan. 10, 2021 and handout on Jan. 11, 2021 by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis holding a weekly live streamed Angelus prayer by a Nativity Scene, from the library of the apostolic palace in The Vatican, during the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
Handout/Vatican Media/AFP

Pope Francis receives MLK jersey from Atlanta Hawks

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - January 16, 2021 - 10:16am

MANILA, Philippines — The Atlanta Hawks have sent Pope Francis a special gift: a limited edition Martin Luther King jersey.

Blessed by the pontiff, the jersey honors the Atlanta native son and civil rights icon who was assassinated in 1968.

The package contained a No. 1 jersey, with "MLK" across the front -- in place of the "Hawks" or the city name and Francis' name across the back.

The Hawks released a video of Francis opening the package. The pontiff said "thank you very much" then proceeded to bless and sign the jersey.

Back in November, the pontiff met with a delegation of NBA players to discuss social justice and economic inequality.

The Hawks will wear the jerseys for the first time on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) when the team hosts its annual game on MLK day.

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