In the wake of George Floyd's killing at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer while in custody on Monday, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, and assistant general manager Joe Branch gathered players for a video call to address the tragedy.
"I am a white male in a position of leadership, and I don't take lightly the fact that I have not experienced some of these things that our individual guys have had to experience," Saunders told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "So I wanted to make sure we were listeners, that we could become more educated as people completely inexperienced in never getting the benefit of the doubt.
"I grew up in Minnesota and this hasn't been sitting well with me for the past two days," Saunders added. "Sometimes the silence can be deafening too. When we're given opportunity to speak on what's right, I think it's important to do that."
Since Floyd's death was filmed by bystanders and posted on social media, numerous celebrities and athletes have spoken out, including LeBron James and Floyd's friend, retired NBA player Stephen Jackson. Additionally, there have been large protests taking place within Minneapolis in recent days following the 46-year-old African-American man's death.
"He (Saunders) wanted us to feel his presence on this, even if he isn't African American. He didn't try to force it. It was genuine," Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley told Wojnarowski about Saunders' role in the meeting.
Team owner Glen Taylor also took time to address Floyd's death with Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, calling the tragedy "a shame."
"First of all, we lose a life and that in itself is such a terrible tragedy. I feel for the family and the friends and the people who knew him personally," Taylor said. "And then for all of us who didn’t know him personally, it's still a tragedy that we have such an unfortunate incident happen."