The Minnesota Timberwolves dedicated the game ball to the family of George Floyd following their victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, just hours after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the murder of Floyd last May, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
“I think for all of us, we all felt that this game was bigger than basketball,” Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said following the win. “This was a moment that wasn’t meant for us, this was meant for our city and for George Floyd’s family. I think everyone in America right now is grieving with them and sending our prayers, blessings and love towards them.
“They need it for countless days. They’ve been reminded of the tragedy that has taken place in their family and never truly got a chance to grieve and recover in any sort of way. So I think for us we were just trying to do our part to let them know that we’re here with them, that this game of basketball is only just a little part of who we are. And this organization in us wanted to really show them that we’re going to be with them every step of the way we possibly can to help them in this process, in this grieving process … just to repair their lives as much as we possibly can.”
Towns spoke of the uncertainty heading into the day, while the world waited for the jury to issue their decision.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Towns said. “I had sweated so much I had to take a shower because I didn’t know how it was going to go. My feelings towards it was, we’ve seen moments like this so much that go the opposite way, that even with how quick the verdict came in, you still have no idea where it’s going to go.
“I was worried. I was worried for our community. I was worried for if justice was going to be served. I was worried about all the family our team has, every player, and wondering if their safety was going to be guaranteed tonight and how they would feel. On our team, we’ve got guys who have kids, who are kids of color, wondering if we’re going to show them if the word accountability actually lives in the world we live in today.
Like many others, Towns was filled with a variety of emotions after the verdict was announced, saying it was “a bittersweet moment that justice was served, but it was served at the cost of a life.”
“It’s unfortunate that our city has been going through this so much, but I hope that today was a step towards reform and a step towards bringing this whole thing to an end for all the families involved,” Towns said. “Just because justice was served today for Mr. Floyd, doesn’t mean that we are going to be bringing him back home, and that’s the most unfortunate part of all of this.
“It was a day where a step towards reform was made, but there’s a lot of work to do and there’s a lot of conversations that need to be had to make sure that this doesn’t happen again or at least try to save the next generations from having moments like this.”