Pro Football Hall of Fame First American Sports Organization to Have Audience with the Pope

Pro Football Hall of Fame First American Sports Organization to have an audience with the Pope

June 21, 2017
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 am 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.
Here are some of other reactions from Gold Jackets
Ronnie Lott
“When you think about having peace in our lives, the Pope give us a great example of how important it is to live your live that way.”
Chris Doleman
“Meeting Pope Francis was one of those life changing moments, he showed us love peace and respect.”
Floyd Little  
“A blessing for all of us I was thrilled, thank the Hall of Fame for giving us this moment.”
Curtis Martin
“This was a wonderful day, just to have an opportunity to shake his hand and to feel his presence in person was a blessing. He is the closest thing we know to Jesus walking the earth.”
Jerry Jones

“What a magnificent thing for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to have him recognize pro football. When I think of the millions who know our Spiritual leader, it is very special to think that we had his audience on behalf of the game.”
Gene Jones
“It has been a magical day, Pope Francis has blessed the entire NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

The entire group then moved on to a viewing of the Sistine Chapel and will visit the American Embassy later today.