Of the 15 players on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, 10 of those players are white. For Minnesota civil rights activists, that is a few too many.
Black leaders in the state feel that the Timberwolves organization has made a conscious effort to build a roster full of white players.
David Kahn, the team's president of basketball operations responded to those allegations saying, "Every decision we've made here has been intended to make the team as good as can be, as quickly as can be," according to the Star Tribune.
In a league where 78 percent of the players are American-born black players, it is rare to find a team with a primarily white roster, but that does not necessarily mean it cannot happen. The Timberwolves have been rebuilding for the last seven seasons, and while the team has a surplus of white players, those players are extremely talented.
Kevin Love represented Team USA in the Olympics and has been regarded as one of the best at his position over the last two seasons. Ricky Rubio was a first-round draft pick back in 2009 and could have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award last season if it weren't for an injury. Chase Budinger has proven he can be a productive role player in his three-year career and point guard Jose Barea helped the Dallas Mavericks win an NBA title in 2011.
While the white players that crowd Minnesota's roster have proven they can produce statistically, civil activists like Ron Edwards feel the club has a hidden agenda.
"It raises some real questions to me about what's really intended," Edwards said. "I think, personally, that it was calculated. Is this an attempt to get fans back in the stands? Minnesota, after all, is a pretty white state.''
The Timberwolves may not have a bona fide black superstar, but the team has made commitments to the promising Derrick Williams and signed three-time All-Star Brandon Roy this past offseason. Roy is attempting to make a comeback after a one-year retirement.
Minnesota is looking get past the critics heading into their season opener on Friday night and begin the 2012-13 campaign with a win.