A delegation of NBA players and unionists met with the Pope at the Vatican Monday after an aide to the pontiff contacted basketball players to express interest in the national basketball association’s campaigns for social justice, racism, and economic equality, Breitbart reported.

However, both the NBA and the Vatican have experienced intense scrutiny and criticism for their close relations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), one of the worst human rights violators in recent history. While the NBA and the Vatican promote these values in their public activities, their relations with China undermine their message entirely.

According to the ESPN report, the Pope showed interest in NBA players who displayed messages on their T-shirts and the court at the start of the NBA season.

The messages supported the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement and other expressions condemning the deaths of black people in police incidents.

Pope Francis meets a delegation of five NBA players, including Jonathan Isaac and Sterling Brown, and officials from the National Basketball Players Association at the Vatican on Nov. 23, 2020. (Vatican Media/Handout via Reuters)

But Americans do realize: The games of this basketball season’s finals were the least-watched sporting events in NBA history with one-third fewer viewers than in 2019.

According to a September poll, 39 percent of Americans stopped watching NBA games because it became too political, and 19 percent said they stopped following the NBA because of its relationship with the CCP.

In October 2019, the Houston Rockets’ coach issued a tweet supporting the massive peaceful demonstrations against the CCP’s takeover of Hong Kong, only to anger the communist regime in Beijing and provoke an immediate apology and retraction by the coach and NBA commissioner, Adam Silver.

In July of this year, the NBA was denounced for ill-treatment and abuse of children in China’s training schools. Next, they had to close a training center in Xinjiang province after revelations of horrific human rights violations against Uighurs in that region.

It is a reality: doing business with the CCP and not being stained by the innumerable aberrations of the communist regime is not easy: from forced labor, torture, the removal of organs from living people for sale, forced abortion, and the thousands of other injustices that the Chinese live through, who can say that their business in China did not assist the CCP in maintaining its evil regime.

So, can NBA players and the Pope who signed an agreement with the communist regime recognized for its war on faith talk about social justice or inequality when they cover up with their actions the worst injustices and the worst inequality in the world?