Karl-Anthony Towns Awarded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award

Karl-Anthony Towns Awarded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award

The NBA has announced this season’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award winner and that it is Minnesota Timberwolves center-forward Karl-Anthony Towns.

The award is given to the basketball player dedicated to pursuing social justice and living up to NBA legend, Abdul-Jabbar’s and the league’s vision of equality, respect, and inclusion. Towns emerged as the winner among the five finalists who were in the running to receive the honor. The Timberwolves center beat out Miami Heat center-forward Bam Adebayo, New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Lindy Waters III, and Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook.

“It is a great honor to be named the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion,” said Towns in a written statement.  “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 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities on behalf of Towns. The money will help advance health equity among youth and support the mental well-being of Black and Brown communities as part of Towns’ 32 Wellness program.

Towns was partly responsible for getting Bill HF28 – Minnesota’s Restore the Vote bill, passed. This will allow people previously incarcerated the right to vote alongside eligible Minnesota voters. Towns was instrumental in using his platform and voice to support the bill while highlighting issues related to mass incarceration. His involvement included participating in community conversations and meeting with the Minnesota Freedom Fund, New Justice Project, Minnesota Justice Research Center, and All-Square, the key organizations that helped get the bill through the legislature.

Bill HF28 went into law in July 2023, after Minnesota Governor Walz approved it in March 2023. The bill passing allowed more than 55,000 Minnesotans previously in jail or on parole, the right to vote.

Towns was recognized for his giving back to the community when he was a finalist for this award in 2022 following the murder of George Floyd.

Karl-Anthony Towns Awarded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award

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