Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders has weighed in on the death of George Young, a tragic incident that has plunged Minneapolis into chaos. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minneapolis community and broader United States is dealing with yet another tragedy that threatens to tear apart the fabric of our society.

Earlier this week, a man by the name of George Floyd died while in policy custody in Minneapolis. The video of Floyd’s death has since gone viral, and is almost too difficult to watch. Since, the four officers involved in his death have been fired. Outpouring of grief around the United States turned into riots in the Twin Cities Wednesday evening.

Protesters took to the streets in other major metropolitan areas demanding that the officers in question be charged with murder.

Needless to say, these latest racial tensions have divided a people. A native of Minnesota and a former player for the Golden Gophers, Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders spoke up on the incident Thursday.

“I am a white male in a position of leadership, and I don’t take lightly the fact that I have not experienced some of these things that our individual guys have had to experience,” Saunders told ESPN. “So I wanted to make sure we were listeners, that we could become more educated as people completely inexperienced in never getting the benefit of the doubt. I grew up in Minnesota and this hasn’t been sitting well with me for the past two days. Sometimes the silence can be deafening too. When we’re given opportunity to speak on what’s right, I think it’s important to do that.”

This is obviously a pretty big sentiment since the tragic events in Minneapolis unfolded earlier in the week. White men in a position of power have no idea what the minority community has dealt with, and is currently dealing with. It’s two different perspectives. 

Saunders indicated that he connected with president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and assistant GM Joe Branch on Tuesday night, mere hours after the events occurred. Ultimately, it turned into a conversation with most players on the Timberwolves’ roster.

For Saunders and Co., it was more about gauging the reaction of his players. There was no way the organization could respond before speaking to players who have been more impacted by this than the powers that be.

The son of late-great former Timberwolves front office head and head coach, Flip, Saunders is a huge part of the Minnesota community. He knew something needed to be done. And he took the proper steps to respond in kind.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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An asterisk (*) indicates the player is a Hall of Famer. 

ATL / 23,292*
Dominique Wilkins
BK / 10,444
Brook Lopez
BOS / 26,395*
John Havlicek
CHA / 12,009
Kemba Walker
CHI / 29,277*
Michael Jordan
CLE / 23,119
LeBron James
DAL / 31,560
Dirk Nowitzki
DEN / 21,645*
Alex English
DET / 18,822*
Isiah Thomas
GSW / 17,783*
Wilt Chamberlain
HOU / 26,511*
Hakeem Olajuwon
IND / 25,279*
Reggie Miller
LAC / 12,735
Randy Smith
LAL / 33,643
Kobe Bryant
MEM / 11,733
Mike Conley
MIA / 21,556
Dwyane Wade
MIL / 14,211*
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
MIN / 19,201
Kevin Garnett
NO / 11,059
Anthony Davis
NYK / 23,665*
Patrick Ewing
OKC / 18,859
Russell Westbrook
ORL / 11,435
Dwight Howard
PHI / 21,586*
Hal Greer
PHX / 15,666
Walter Davis
POR / 18,040*
Clyde Drexler
SAC / 22,009*
Oscar Robertson
SA / 26,496
Tim Duncan
TOR / 13,296
DeMar DeRozan
UTAH / 36,374*
Karl Malone
WAS / 15,551*
Elvin Hayes

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