Karl-Anthony Towns Discusses Charlottesville, Racism for The Players' Tribune

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2017

Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns plays against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns expressed his thoughts on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and racism in America as part of an article for The Players' Tribune on Friday.

Towns said it has been difficult to remain optimistic in the face of so many negative news stories regarding racial divides in the United States:

"Personally, I've been disappointed. Not sad, but disappointed. I've even been kind of...defeated. Not hopeless—I've got hope. But just exhausted. If you're a minority in America, just watching the news can be exhausting. Normally, I'm an optimistic guy. What you see is what you get. But I guess these emotions can creep up on you."

Towns also said racism is such commonplace that the situation in Charlottesville didn't even take him by surprise:

"There was one thing I didn't feel about Charlottesville. I didn't feel shocked by it. Yeah, I was disappointed but not shocked. It's not a surprise to me that racism is alive and kicking in 2017.

"In Charlottesville, I think we saw a more visible form of racism. We don't see it so public very often, but that kind of hate is sadly...kind of normal. Obviously I don't mean normal as in acceptable. It's not. It's evil. I mean normal as in this is nothing new in our country. It's something we experience or hear about growing up. America has been struggling with racism since day one. Our country is built on this. It's our history."

Towns' shock related solely to the manner in which President Donald Trump handled the matter, as he likened Trump not "[denouncing] white supremacists" to a basketball player flubbing a wide-open fastbreak.

Despite the challenges United States faces, Towns believes there are enough good people in the country to get through them:

"There are more Americans who want to understand other people—people who look past pigmentation ... people who talk with love that can shiver a person's mind and soul ... and people who live to improve not only their families' lives, but the lives of every family in this beautiful country. There are more of those people than there are people who want to divide, degrade and corrupt us."

The 21-year-old Towns was born in New Jersey to an African-American father and a Dominican mother.

Towns is quickly developing into one of the NBA's most dominant players, which stands to further bolster his influence and lend additional impact to his words in the coming years, much like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and other NBA superstars currently.