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Karl-Anthony Towns relied upon late mother’s ‘strength’ in social justice fight

Karl-Anthony Towns opened up about how he was able to join the battle for social justice in the fallout from the death of George Floyd by relying on the strength exhibited by his late mother only weeks after her death.

Jacqueline Cruz-Towns passed away on April 13 at the age of 58 due to complications from COVID-19 after more than a month of fighting the virus. Just over one month later, Towns was spotted at a press conference in the Twin Cities amid the fallout of Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis Police custody on May 26.


Towns also participated in a peaceful protest in Minneapolis a few days later.


Despite suffering through the anguish and grief from recently losing his beloved mother, Towns soldiered on for social and racial justice. Speaking recently to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Towns explained why.

Looking back, Towns said, “My mom would have wanted for me to be there.

“It gave me the push, the motivation to go. I found strength in myself to do something for others even when,” said Towns, 25. “I told D’Lo [Russell] when he asked me, ‘It’s always easy to do the right thing when it’s easy for you. But it’s very hard to do the right thing when it’s very inconvenient for you.’ And that is why I went. I knew it was the right thing to stand up for racial injustice and to find ways to help the youth and spread the message that this police brutality and racial injustice has to stop. Especially in a community that has given me the opportunity to live the life I live. …

“But I really just feel like it was the strength of my mother that gave me the strength to even get out of the house and go outside.”

Floyd’s tragic death obviously hit close to home for the Timberwolves organization, as the Twin Cities served as an initial epicenter of the outcry and outrage over systemic racism, social injustice and police misconduct that erupted in the wake of the incident.

Towns, who recently admitted he lost an additional six other family members to COVID-19, made the decision to overcome his grief and use it as inspiration to enact change in his own community because that’s what his mother would have wanted.