Rumor: Timberwolves Use White Players To Bump Ticket Sales
A revamped Minnesota Timberwolves are finally making sports headlines; unfortunately, it’s not for their basketball skillz. The team was hoping to make a media splash for breaking a multi-year slump and being considered among the league’s playoff contenders. Instead, they’ve been attacked by black leaders and civil rights activists for allegedly signing white players in order to boost ticket sales…
Not since the Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s has the league seen such a predominately white team. Only five of the fifteen players are black — a stark difference to other teams that have boasted a 75 percent make-up of black players since the early ‘90s. Tyrone Terrell, chairman of an African American leadership council, suspects it’s a calculated attempt by the Timberwolves to raise stadium attendance. The notion is that since the team’s fan base is primarily white, an up in the team’s white players would mean a rise in sales.
David Kahn, president of operations for the T-Wolves, calls such claims “patently false.” Instead he and team execs say that the ever-growing popularity of basketball on an international scale is a main reason for the team’s make-up. When citing diversity, Kahn mentioned that the new-look Timberwolves would include players from Russia, Spain, Montenegro, and Puerto Rico, making them one of the most culturally diverse teams in the game today.
Brandon Roy, a new acquisition for the team and projected to be its only black starter, believes that nothing racial is afoot. “It’s just basketball,” Roy said. “I never really had to feel like I’m the only black guy out here. I’ve played on teams that maybe had all black guys and the feeling is just the same when I’m out there on the floor.” Kahn contends that “every decision… made here has been intended to make the team as good as can be.”
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