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May 9, 2024 12:43 pm

Karl-Anthony Towns named NBA’s Social Justice Champion

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Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns was named the NBA Social Justice Champion for the 2023-24 season on Thursday.

He will receive the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy for his “dedication to pursuing social justice and upholding Abdul-Jabbar and the league’s decades-long values of equality, respect and inclusion,” the league announced.

Towns, 28, was recognized for his efforts to expand voter rights in Minnesota, where he played a critical role in the passage of a bill to restore the right to vote to thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals.

“It is a great honor to be named the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion,” Towns said. “I am proud to have played a role in the passing of Minnesota’s Restore the Vote bill and I will always be committed to supporting social justice causes as that is part of my DNA.”

A $100,000 donation will be made on Towns’ behalf to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

“Karl-Anthony Towns has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing social justice through his tremendous advocacy work not only this past year, but throughout his whole career,” said Mark Tatum, NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer.

Other finalists for the award were Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), CJ McCollum (New Orleans Pelicans), Lindy Waters III (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Clippers).

The NBA’s first Social Justice Champion was Carmelo Anthony in 2020-21, followed by Reggie Bullock (2021-22) and Stephen Curry (2022-23).

On the court, Towns earned his fourth All-Star selection in 2023-24 and averaged 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 62 games (all starts) for the Timberwolves. Minnesota currently has a 2-0 lead in its Western Conference semifinal series against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

–Field Level Media

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