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Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 9:50 am  |  86 responses

Civil Rights Activists Question Minnesota Timberwolves’ White Roster


The Minnesota Timberwolves and the skin color of many of their players has some questioning the front-office’s true motives when it comes to constructing the roster. Reports the Star Tribune: “Dante Cunningham noticed when he reported for work in Minnesota this fall that his new Timberwolves team is unlike any for which he has ever played. ‘Day One, we were all in the elevator and I kind of looked up,’ he said about a crowded ride with many of his new teammates, ‘and I was just like, ‘Where is everybody?’ Everybody, in this case, being black teammates. Come opening night on Friday, Cunningham will be one of five black players on a 15-man Wolves team that has reversed the National Basketball Association’s historical racial percentages with a roster that is the league’s whitest since the Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s. [...] ‘How did we get a roster that resembles the 1955 Lakers?’ asked Tyrone Terrell, chairman of St. Paul’s African American leadership council. ‘I think everything is a strategy. Nothing happens by happenstance.’ That strategy, Terrell and others in the black community believe, is to sell tickets to the Wolves’ fan base, which is overwhelmingly white. ‘Patently false,’ said David Kahn, Wolves president of basketball operations. He and other Timberwolves executives instead call it a coincidence of circumstance and a purposeful plan to scour the globe for the best players they can possibly obtain. They will start the season with players from Russia, Montenegro, Spain and Puerto Rico, a total of five international players among a group that also includes five white American-born players. Included is injured All-Star Kevin Love, the game’s greatest American-born white player — a vanishing species in the league — since John Stockton starred for Utah in the 1990s.”

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  • agro you suck

    when were white able to use the white toilet seat?

  • http://twitter.com/rubthemtogether Mind Gangster

    Utterly, utterly moronic

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    What the hell.. Rubio it aint white he’s hispanic lol

  • Mike From Spain

    Look at me. I am from Spain. Would you say I look like a hispanic dude? No real problem with getting called ‘hispanic’, but that is a bit like calling people from Spain ‘latino’. Not all of us look mediterranean / hispanic / latino.

  • Jay

    That is reaching. I can’t believe this is an issue. Minnesota has a diverse roster that features a bunch of ESL (English as second language) guys. They are organizationally average trying to get better, but racist isn’t really an issue IMO. MR. Cunningham had better think again. He’s probably prejudice.

  • Regis

    This is an embarrassing shot to the intelligence of every person in Minnesota. “Everything is strategy”. What a chump.

  • http://twitter.com/anegron7 A1

    This is stupid. its racist to say that there should be a limit to how many white ppl are on a basketball team, its like the beginning days of basketball, but they just switched black hate to white hate. and im puerto rican, i shouldnt be standin up for white ppl (no offense lol) but this is straight ignorant

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    relax, it was a generalization. I’m myself am cuban/israeli. who cares he’s a human being. if it makes you feel better girls from spain are the most beautiful

  • Redd

    ..Bosnia

  • Mike From Spain

    I am fine, I did not take any ‘offense’, I used to get mildly irritated to be classified as South American rather than European, but now I am more used to it.

  • Redd

    I’m all for speaking up when white folks try to oppress or belittle non-whites but in this case..dude lost his head.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    im thinking the same

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    what would you prefer to be called?

  • Rkirby

    This is the dumbest gripe ever. Like of all basketball time.

  • Mike From Spain

    I don’t know, I’d think broadly speaking European, and the way I think European is not racial, but geographical. Yes, a lot of us happen to be white, but a whole lot of us happen not to be white. In regards to the way I think about my identity, race is very low in the list. I don’t know if this makes any sense to you…

  • Dagger

    Ironically the Timberwolves, like the Raptors, have one of the more diverse rosters in the league, if you look beyond skin colour.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Ridiculous. 8 of their 15 players were Black just last season. If Michael Beasley didn’t play like garbage last season, he would still be there. Owners and GMs want to win. They assemble the best team they can in order to win so that they can make as much money as possible and generate enough interest as possible. Look around the league. Predominantly Black players. Why would one franchise decide to show some prejudice this season while everyone else is only trying to win with the best players they can get? The best White player in the league is their superstar player. Nothing wrong with that at all. Some of today’s civil rights groups are a disgrace compared to how they used to be. Look at their history. Kevin Garnett, who has darker skin than he does? There are real issues out here for these kind of groups to be concerned with. This isn’t one of them. Dante needs to try to get some minutes and worry less about the skin color of the guys he’s playing with.

  • reedo

    lol makes me laugh because Brandon Roy is black. This guy needs to be upset with nba 2k13 all the light skin guys look white lol

  • timbo slice

    why is this an issue? i believe in the right person for the right job, if management believes they have the correct person for what theey are trying to accomplish then what does it matter if they happen to be white black or asian or whatever?
    even if it was a roster fulll of thai lady boys, if they can hoop they can hoop
    the race card has gotta go

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    a lot of sense

  • James aka…

    I wonder if he’s going to retroactively protest the Cwebb Era Kings or some of Dirk’s teams. The argument that Minnesota’s fan base is mostly white is true. the problem is, so is every team in the league. Most Obama voters are white. Nevermind that, most rap albums are bought by suburban white children, because the US has 220 million white people (not including central and south americans with european ancestry). Unless this civil rights activist believes some 27 and 14 all star from the Black community was unfairly denied a job in favour of Kevin Love, the question must be asked: What are you wasting your time as a civil rights leader doing?

  • bike

    This Tyrone Terrell is the kind of guy that really gives civil rights groups a bad name.

  • Canesta

    Reverse racism at it’s finest. It’s funny because if a non-African-American made a comment like this regarding the overwhelming number of African-Americans in the league, it would be all over the news as a “racist” comment. Yet turn it the other way around and it’s fine…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The real problem is not at the level of team rosters, but of team ownership. Actually, ownership in general, not just in the NBA. That’s what these civil rights leaders need to be questioning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/garyfrclev Gary Kelly

    why is everything racially motivated i mean hello rubio is spainish it makes no sense

  • bballnut

    This just proves what i always believed..blacks dont want to be treated equal..they want to be treated better than everyone else..sorry beasley sucked and sorry randolph was an idiot..notice they also got rid of worthless white center darko.

  • Solito

    Does Donte Cunningham think “they all look alike”, then? Rubio, Shved/Kirilenko and Pekovic… if he thinks Spaniards, Russians and Serbs are all the same, then he was not going to history class often. Touchy subject, not only in the US, but in Serbia as well, btw.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    What about the rest of the league’s black rosters?

  • Bob fan

    Most of the nba players are black. I am white so why don’t I call for racial quotas? It is obvious each team assembles a roster that they think can help them win games, even if this means that most of the players are black. If you win games, the fans will support you no matter what the color of the skin.

  • phil

    Blacks associate basketball to their manhood more than any other sport, they are threatened when a situation that is not the norm appears. Jeremy lin’s emergence set the stage of hate from a guy that complimented everyone and was a church goer. Minnesota god forbid is starting a mainly white team(they must be racist evil goers). Their sense of worth is relied to often to this subject.

  • steven

    Well white guys get replaced all the time. Look at all those big breasted women doing news. You still looking.

  • shutup

    LMAO

  • http://www.facebook.com/BoppinBob47 Bob Edwards

    Tyrone Terrel is a racist, and writing an article that even mentions his musings is giving him credence and in my humble opinion is also racist.

  • shutup

    Yeah, that wasn’t a racist comment…..lmao. your a joke, go hang your hood up.

  • Clo

    Fuckin dumbass activist… Whites are the minority and their is someone complaining there is too many white people.. Get f outta here

  • yann blavec

    It’s stupid to say athletes should be black. Doctors, lawyers, teachers should be black;

  • blackthought

    dante cunningham – thats a boatload of bullshit, so thick the ship maid sink – no gm cares about black or white – they want just to win (or make some money along the way..) !

  • Do Work

    This is absolutely ridiculous…every other team has majority of black players but if someone complained about that being unfair they are automatically labeled a racist.

  • Filmexec

    PC BS from the Poverty Pimps!

  • sheed33

    true

  • Yup

    What do you mean by reverse racism? Racism is racism, no matter what race is being effected.

  • jay

    I think its racist to even bring this up, like only bblack people can play basketball?

  • Luther Clark

    I don t see anything wrong with Wolves & Raptors be n more diverse . Maybe the reason is because more white ppl come to the area & they want good basketball players that can play & look like the pay n customers. They weren t winning with the team being mustly Afro American…

  • http://twitter.com/DanielOwarMN Daniel Owar

    So, it’s okay for a team to be filled with African-Americans players, but when a team is filled with Caucasian players is wrong?………..I don’t get this sh*t.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Man you are all over the place with your comments.

  • Lalaker12

    What a ridiculous and idiotic notion. Fight actual battles and greivances and not look for ones that aren’t there. It weakens your arguement and credibility when there actually is a reason for concern.

  • Jimmy

    How come its ok for teams to be all black? But if they’re all white its racist.

    Watch these whiteboys make the playoffs this year, they’re gonna be good

  • Simmo

    Absolutely correct.. I find his comments offensive and he should be condemned by the black community.. But, that’ll never happen – they’ll spin it another way

  • Ron

    This idiots statements are so untrue, they don’t merit a comment on real racial issues.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ahb9days rob thomas

    MN is the poor neighborhood in NBA, they can only afford the white guys.

  • dalbertthekid

    Spaniards are white… European

  • Jz

    Then why is no one writing articles about the lack of whites on the Knicks?

  • Jz

    Why are there no white cornerbacks in the nfl! Racism!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwayne.walton Dwayne E Walton

    They (the T-Wolves ownership) have the right to form their roster however they choose The proof will be in how well they perform over the course of an 82 game season. i would hope that Civil Rights activists in Minneapolis have more pressing issues to deal with than who is on the T-Wolves roster…

  • Wally

    How come there aren’t any caucasians in a black or latino gang? Do we have to have a quota for everything. Can’t people just be people instead of white people, black people, etc.?

  • Goat

    >Spaniards
    >Montenegrins
    >white

  • firearmofmutiny

    Minnesota sports teams are an embarrassing shot to the intelligence of every person in Minnesota.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710646127 Lee Lucas

    Wrong city.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    Good to know that one black man’s opinion helped you ” prove what you always believed” about an entire race. Next time some white supremacist speaks, I guess I can apply his statements as the mindset of all whites.

  • John Eliopoulos

    Should we question most teams’ BLACK rosters?!

  • brownjesus

    “In regards to the way I think about my identity, race is very low in the list”

    okay Mike FROM SPAIN

  • JB

    it’s not the color of the skin, it’s the game of the player that gets a roster spot. Someone always trying to make it racial. We have a limited time on this planet…let’s get along and enjoy it.

  • George C. Roundtree

    Too Damn Slow!!!!!!

  • George C. Roundtree

    Prince & The Revolution and Morris Day & The Time could beat the Wolves with that roster. Prediction: 5 wins – 77 losses. Don’t blame it on any comment from Mr. Terrell, he’s just telling the truth. David Stern wanted all NBA rosters to resemble the Wolves roster before he left. It’s a damn shame that NBA quality players have to go overseas to play while sorry ass ESL players are allowed to play in the NBA. And the 5 wins are a stretch.
    JUST KEEPING IT REAL!!!!

  • Mike From Spain

    I heard once that racism is thinking in terms of race, that race does not really exist. I guess that we all think in terms of race, so we are all ‘racist’ in the sense of believing in race. In that sense you are right…

  • Mike From Spain

    I heard once that racism is thinking in terms of race, that race does not really exist. I guess that we all think in terms of race, so we are all ‘racist’ in the sense of believing in race. In that sense you are right…

  • Mike From Spain

    In what sense is From Spain a racial thing? You seem to be implying it… I didn’t call myself ‘White Mike’ in the same way you call yourself ‘brownjesus’ so I don’t really know what you want to point out

  • Canesta

    Reverse racism is a term which refers to racial prejudice or discrimination directed against the traditionally dominant racial group in a society. Now I’m not here cry fowl over racism, but perfect example being scholarships offered exclusively for African-Americans. If there was ever a scholarship that was for “whites” only, there would be public outrage but spin it the other way around and there’s no problem. That’s what I mean.

  • Diipp

    It is odd that the team is the “whitest” team in 30 years, this being the first year the team has had a sliver of hope since KG/Steph. Take that how you want

  • Lamp64

    Black on black crime, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, etc..,etc…etc…A man representing a civil rights organization is concerned with how many white guys are on a basketball team, REALLY!!! Mr. Terrell please re-evaluate your priorities, I’m certain your community has bigger issues that could use your attention.

  • Tyler

    People look at race on a skin based level: black and white. In reality, there are more than just black and white in America. The article states that there are 5 international players who’s skin tones may resemble white, that does not make them white. What defines “whiteness” what defines “blackness?” Is it one’s skin tone? Or is it ones harritage? How does one associate whitness in this way? There are 5 players on this team with completely different heritages, ways of life. Just because one’s skin time is white, that does not make them white. They are Russian, they are Hispanic, they are so many different cultures coming together to play a great sport.

  • Tyler Wegrzyn

    That’s because universities (example) give scholarships to African American students who score an 18 over a white person who scores a 21 because of opportunity. That white person has the opportunity and the tools necessary for him to succeed because society in America favors the white person rather than the racial minorities who aren’t given the same opportunities. By universities picking an African American with an 18 on their ACT over a white person scoring a 21, it’s leveling the playing field. What if the tools given to the black person to succeed only allowed him to score an 18 and he does, where as the white person could have been given the tools to succeed wit a score of a 25, but only got a 21, who worked harder?

  • jpjaz

    Now the Real racist emerge.

  • Jay

    For many years, black NBA players have been called “thugs” and “criminals” by racist white fans and media. I believe that David Kahn wanted to create a mostly white team to attract racist white fans in Minnesota. Tyrone Terrel is completely correct in his assessment.

  • Jay

    The NBA has always had issues with racism and will continue to do so. I live in Chicago and follow the Bulls. I have no idea how a basketball player like Brian Scalabrine has been in the NBA for so long. He is horrible, but all the white NBA basketball fans love him because he is a “token white player” for racist fans to root for.

  • Canesta

    And what about a white or Hispanic person who “doesn’t have the tools to succeed”? Should we just forget about them? You make it sound like all white people have it easy, but that’s just not true. What are these “tools” that you talk about? In this country, we all have access to a free public education, free books, library access, etc. It’s time to stop crying and just work harder. That’s the problem with this country, everybody wants to make excuses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cabdriver55808 Jim Madill

    If this was true they wouldn’t have picked Derrick Williams #2. I rest my case.

  • jordran

    So so excited for this new timberwolves season and all of the amazing TALENT not color

  • jordran

    This tyron terrel guy sounds more racist then anyone

  • TC Huddle

    The accusations of the Timberwolves being racist are ridiculous, but the discussion is valuable and needed. To dismiss the discussion without comment is flippant. Minnesotans should be offended, though, by the notion that a more white team would encourage them to buy more tickets. Wilbon said on PTI the other day that the Twin Cities is one of the most “racially tolerant places in the entire U.S.” This is absolutely true. These comments propose otherwise, which is offensive and patently false.

    The discussion is valuable though. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Wolves guard Brandon Roy had some interesting things to say about it: http://www.tchuddle.com/2012/10/too-white-a-response-to-civil-rights-activists/

  • sheriffjaybird

    My god, this is such a joke…… They have players from all over the world, but just not enough dark skinned players?????? Is this not almost racist against people w a lighter skin color? Wake up people…..

  • Blazers Fan

    The simple fact that they have an issue with the number of any color of people on any team, tells me just who the racist are. If you were a racist franchise you would lose the right to have a team and all you would accomplish is losing millions of dollars and get hated my billions of people. With all that is wrong with this world, I think there are better places to put your energy. Lets get some people to fight racism that understand what it means and actually care about the issue, not just some douche trying to make a name for himself.
    Ps, The T-Wolves are one of the most culturally diverse teams in the league you big stupids!

  • johnathon smith

    i can’t believe there are people saying that this is racist. there are about 95% of nba teams with the first string and 2nd string composed of all black guys.

  • MyLyfe

    There were articles written about the knicks. Google the 1978-79 team where they were give the nick name the new york n***bockers

  • mcmash54

    What tools are you talking about, brains?

  • johnsonrod

    Minnesota isn’t exactly the cherished home of star black ballers.

    So grabbing euros (especially hardy russians who think this is warm weather) isn’t a bad long term solution. They won’t be looking for the first flight out of town to a warmer (or blacker) city.

    And they’re competitive.

    If the going rate is 75% black players on all other teams, then isn’t this a bizarre version of reverse affirmative action? Are you really complaining that the wolves are threatening the 75% black makeup, a dominant, overriding percentage that one could (evilly) argue indicates reverse discrimination?

    Yeah, I get it, there could be implied racism with a white crowd, white state, and white players. But there is a black president who just won his second term. How about we don’t immediately scream “racist conspiracy”?

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