ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks have a big new supporter: Pope Francis.
The team shared a video of the pope opening up his own Hawks jersey personalized with his name on the back and the number 1 on the front.
In the video, Francis unwraps the gift and revealed the jersey before signing and blessing it.
The Hawks say the decision to send the leader of the Catholic church came after a delegation of NBA players met with Francis in November of 2020 to discuss how the players were protesting for social justice. Previously, the pope had expressed his concerns after the death of George Floyd and said he wanted to know more about the athletes' actions.
According to the team, they sent Francis the medium-sized jersey " as a symbol of a shared commitment with the players to making positive change exemplified in the guiding principles of Dr. King’s legacy – social equality, economic empowerment, and love."
The team's 2021 jersey is a partnership between the NBA, NBPA, Nike, and the King Estate Foundation and honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Profit from the sales of the 2021 Nike City Edition Jersey will go to help promote economic empowerment in the Black community.
You can learn more about the Atlanta Hawks jersey at the team's website.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.