Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx Announce “Team Up for Change” Partnership
To stand in solidarity with communities across the nation, the Timberwolves and Lynx have partnered with the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks to effect change in realms of social injustice, racial inequity and systemic racism
Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx announced joining Team Up for Change to use their platform to effect change in areas of social injustice, racial inequity and systemic racism. In the third year of Team Up for Change and the first year of involvement for the Timberwolves and Lynx, the Timberwolves partnered with the Sacramento Kings on a PSA urging unity and action in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of law enforcement. Team Up for Change was established in 2018 after the Kings and Milwaukee Bucks experienced racial inequities in their communities, including that of the tragic death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man, and the police brutality endured by Bucks guard Sterling Brown.
The Team Up for Change PSA features players from both teams including Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, guards Josh Okogie and D’Angelo Russell, Lynx guards Rachel Banham and Lexie Brown and forward Karima Christmas-Kelly along with Kings guards Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox and forward Marvin Bagley III. Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, Lynx Assistant Coach Rebekkah Brunson, Kings Head Coach Luke Walton, Kings General Manager Vlade Divac and more also shared their sentiments.
“By partnering with the Kings and Bucks for Team Up for Change, we are committed to using our shared resources to inspire action. We will work together to promote inclusion and empower our communities to be a voice of meaningful change,” said Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Ethan Casson.
In the upcoming months, the Timberwolves and Lynx will collaborate with the Kings and Bucks to plan and host the third Team Up for Change summit to address issues of social injustice with the goal of working toward more equitable communities.
The Timberwolves and Lynx are committed to utilizing their platform to generate a movement of change and stand in solidarity with communities across the country. In the first of many steps toward inspiring action and effecting sustainable change, the Timberwolves and Lynx have established the following:
The Minneapolis Foundation: On June 3, the Timberwolves and Lynx announced the first of many steps the organization will be taking to fight racism and help unite its communities by partnering with the Minneapolis Foundation. The partnership includes civic leadership duties with Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders and Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve to serve as leaders on one of two advisory committees that will oversee the disbursement of the Fund for Safe Communities, a fund that will champion the prevention of further violence, address systemic inequities, reform the criminal justice system and heal communities affected by this tragedy. The second advisory committee will be compiled of diverse youth from Minneapolis. The two committees will work collectively to disburse funds from the Fund for Safe Communities.
Community Conversation: On June 4, Timberwolves Associate Head Coach David Vanterpool and Lynx Assistant Coach Rebekkah Brunson joined Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Ethan Casson and Kim Miller, Vice President of Programs at RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality) to lead a community conversation for the Timberwolves and Lynx staff surrounding the impact of George Floyd’s death, personal experiences and emotions regarding social injustice and systemic racism. The Timberwolves and Lynx will be announcing details on a community-oriented partnership with RISE later this month.
New Company Holiday: On June 5, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Ethan Casson announced that Election Day, November 3, 2020 will be a company holiday to ensure the entire staff is able to exercise their right to vote and initiate change. The decision was made not only to guarantee staff the ability to go to the voting polls, but also to encourage employees to be engaged citizens in the community and ensure that their voices will be heard.
Pack Gives Back: On June 11 and June 12, players, coaches and staff from the Timberwolves and Lynx, as well as volunteers from Hy-Vee will partner with MATTER to pack 1,000 meal kits and 2,000 snack packs. MATTERboxes will be distributed to Urban Ventures, a community center in South Minneapolis where there is currently an urgent need for food due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of nearby markets and grocery stores because of the civil unrest over the last few weeks.
The Timberwolves and Lynx will continue to uphold the promise to George Floyd, his family and our community to work tirelessly to use our voices to influence change, encourage healing and promote thoughtful action as we move forward together. The Timberwolves and Lynx will be announcing more initiatives soon that will include collaborations between players, coaches, city officials and the local authorities.