MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Timberwolves’ all-star player Karl-Anthony Towns is opening up about the events around Charlottesville and the president’s response in a contribution to The Players’ Tribune.
In Friday’s post, Towns says Charlottesville is not only an indicator that racism is still alive, but also showcases the lack of love and respect the human race has for each other.
On Aug. 12, a car plowed into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters in Charlottesville, a college town where neo-Nazis and white nationalists had assembled for a march. One person was killed.
“For a lot of Americans, Charlottesville wasn’t just a news event that we watched. It was an emotional event that was deeply felt by communities of all races. It was like seeing things we learned in fifth grade history class and realizing how important and relevant they still are,” Towns said. “It’s crazy because one year ago, I felt some of these same feelings. It was after I saw the video of Philando Castile being killed.”
Towns went on to criticize President Donald Trump’s reaction to the event.
“Our President was given a layup: he was asked to denounce white supremacists and neo-Nazis. And he couldn’t … and wouldn’t. Should’ve been pretty easy,” Towns said. “It’s disheartening when our President doesn’t understand his words carry a tremendous amount of weight”
Towns also addressed “athlete activism” and defended his right to voice his own political opinion.
“I believe the culture is changing when it comes to athletes speaking out on the things that really matter,” Towns said. “Basketball is what I do for a living, not who I am as a man. So as athletes we have a huge opportunity to support what we think is right and to speak up about what we think is wrong.”
Towns closes by saying Charlottesville is an opportunity to talk with each other more honestly.
“It’s like the man I met on the way to the airport last week — we only had a short conversation, but it was honest and real. I learned a little bit about what his life has been like, the good and the bad. I’m thankful for that. To me, that’s where everything has to start — standing in someone else’s shoes.”