Members of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets wore warm-up shirts on Tuesday reading “With liberty and justice FOR ALL” and held a moment of silence for a Black man fatally shot by a police officer in Minneapolis.
Daunte Wright, 20, was shot on Sunday during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center in what the city’s police chief said appeared to be an “accidental discharge” after the officer drew her gun instead of her Taser during a struggle.
The shooting prompted all of Minneapolis’ professional sports teams to postpone play on Monday, including the Timberwolves-Nets game, which was being made up on Tuesday.
“We extend our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies to Daunte’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” an announcer said at a darkened Target Center prior to the tip-off of the game.
The police chief and the officer both tendered their resignations on Tuesday, the city’s mayor said.
The moves followed two nights of protests in the city of 30,000 people just miles from Minneapolis, which was already on edge with the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd during an arrest last May.
Before the game, Nets head coach Steve Nash, who is white, called the shooting “unacceptable” and “devastating” and said he would have supported a further postponement of the game if it was part of a broader strategy to combat the underlying issues.
“I’d be all for not playing today if there was a step-by-step, procedural reasoning behind why. But I’m not sure we have that clarity as to what it would change,” he said.
“We all want change but I’m not sure though that whether this game is played or not will bring about that change. That’s the tricky part.”
National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association players have been among the loudest voices calling for an end to police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.
The Minnesota Twins baseball team also held a moment of silence for Wright before their game between the visiting Boston Red Sox, which was also postponed by a day because of the shooting.