Pope Francis blesses Hawks’ MLK jersey

Published January 16, 2021, 12:00 AMNBA.com News Services

On Dr. King's birthday, the pope blessed the Hawk's 20-21 MLK jersey to honor their shared commitment to making positive change in social equality, economic empowerment and love.

The Hawks just got blessed.

Well, their jersey at least. Pope Francis received a package from Atlanta that consisted of the Hawks’ 20-21 MLK Nike City Edition jersey, which he gave his blessing and signed.

In November, five NBA players were part of a delegation that sat down with Pope Francis at the Vatican to talk social justice.

The NBPA said the players spoke about their “individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.”

Atlanta unveiled the jersey last fall, which will honor civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and mark the first time the initials of an individual will be featured prominently on the chest of an official NBA game uniform.

Profits from the jersey sales will go directly towards the Atlanta community.

The Hawks will debut the threads on MLK Day against the Timberwolves, along with a revamped court emblazoned with MLK on the sidelines.