Here's something you normally don't see at a football game: lots of guys wearing black and white around a guy who's wearing an all-white robe and cap.
Seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame including Franco Harris, Ronnie Lott and Floyd Little met with Pope Francis at the Vatican today. The Pope even blessed their Gold Jackets; Hall of Fame officials invited the Pope to visit Canton in 2020 during the Hall's Centennial Celebration.
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(Pro Football HOF) Led by seven Gold Jackets – CURTIS MARTIN, CHRIS DOLEMAN, FRANCO HARRIS, JIM TAYLOR, RONNIE LOTT, FLOYD LITTLE and 2017 Enshrinee JERRY JONES – along with Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees Chairman Randy Hunt, and trip organizers Hall of Fame Board Member Stephen Schott and Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl A. Anderson, Pope Francis greeted and addressed this historic occasion at 8:57 a.m. local time at the Vatican today.
"I am pleased to greet you, the members and directors of the American Pro Football Hall of Fame and welcome you to the Vatican. Teamwork, fair play and the pursuit of personal excellence are the values — in the religious sense, we can say virtues that have guided your commitment, on and off the field" said the Pope, the first ever Pontiff from South America and the first ever Jesuit Pontiff. "These values meet the needs of our brothers and sisters and combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family".
His Holiness then personally greeted and blessed the Gold Jackets, their wives, Hall of Fame board members and their wives, Hall staff members, as well as dignitaries from the Knights of Columbus.
Hunt offered the Pontiff the Hall's support of a worldwide conference on sports and invited His Holiness to attend the Centennial Celebration in Canton, Ohio on September 17, 2020.