Minnesota sports teams call off games in wake of Duante Wright's death in police shooting

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

Monday’s Minnesota Twins’, Minnesota Timberwolves’ and Minnesota Wild’s games are not being played a day after Duante Wright was killed by police in a Minneapolis suburb. 

The Twins were set to open a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Target Field, the Timberwolves were scheduled to face the Brooklyn Nets at the Target Center and the Wild were slated to host the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center. 

The decisions were made after Mr Wright, a 20-year-old black man, was fatally shot on Sunday following a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. 

Shortly after the shooting, protesters descended on the Brooklyn Center Police Department and were met by a police contingent in riot gear amid scenes of unrest.

''Out of respect for the tragic events that occurred yesterday in Brooklyn Center, and following the additional details in this evolving situation, the Minnesota Twins have decided it is in the best interests of our fans, staff, players and community to not play today's game,'' the Twins said in a statement on Twitter.  

In their own statement, the NHL team said: "The Minnesota Wild organization extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Daunte Wright."

A body camera video released on Monday by the Brooklyn Center Police Department showed Wright got out of his car during the traffic stop, but appeared to try to escape from the police officer’s attempts to handcuff him before getting back into the driver’s seat.

A police officer then shouted "Taser!" several times but fired a gun at Wright. 

"It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet," Brooklyn Center Police chief Tim Gannon said, as per the New York Times.

"It appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr Wright."

The Twin Cities region was the epicentre of the Black Lives Matter movement last year when George Floyd was killed in police custody.

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Mr Floyd, is taking place in a courtroom less than 10 miles from where Mr Wright was shot.

"Yesterday's tragic event, involving the life of Daunte Wright, once again leaves our community mourning,” the Timberwolves said in a statement on Twitter. 

Related items

  • Detroit rookie Cunningham denies ejection gesture: I was acknowledging my people Detroit rookie Cunningham denies ejection gesture: I was acknowledging my people

    Cade Cunningham insisted he was acknowledging his "people" and not taunting the opposition after he was ejected during the Detroit Pistons' loss to the Phoenix Suns.

    The Pistons fell to a 135-108 reverse against the NBA-leading Suns on Sunday as they saw two of their players ejected in the second half.

    Cunningham was the first to be dismissed in the third quarter, ending an enthralling battle with Devon Booker, for what referee Kevin Cutler later described as "a physical taunt for pointing at the defender".

    Cutler was referring to Cunningham's gesture after he slammed past Jalen Smith and immediately pointed in the 21-year-old's direction, leading to his second technical foul.

    But Cunningham – who had 21 points, one rebound and four assists before his ejection – provided a different view after the game as he justified his celebration.

    "I had my people right behind the bench," said Cunningham, who finished on 9-for-15 shooting in 24 minutes. 

    "I went baseline to dunk the ball, and he's right in between me and my people. I probably should've read that situation better. I don't really get into taunting too much. 

    "Usually I'm chilling after a play. I realised the situation after he tech'ed me [technical fouled] up, but I didn't think I was going to get a tech. 

    "I let coach Monty [Williams of the Suns] over there, let him know, 'Good game,' and stuff like that."

    Detroit trailed by 20 at the time of Cunningham's removal, and that increased to 27 by the end of the game after Josh Jackson was also ejected with 41 seconds remaining.

    Pistons coach Dwane Casey – whose side are 10-32, the second-worst record in the league – believes his team must manage their reputation by maintaining strong disciplinary levels.

    "He [the referee] said Cade pointed at the guy that he dunked on," Casey said after the game. "I didn't see that part. I thought he was pointing towards his teammate. 

    "That's why he said he got a technical for and got ejected for, he already had one. I've seen a lot worse things to get ejected for than that. 

    "The Josh one, I haven't looked at it yet. He said Josh hit, or pushed, or whatever at [Ish] Wainright. I didn't see that part either, I have to look at that.

    "We're not in a position as a team to complain. Let me be the bad guy to fight for us.

    "As a young team, we shouldn't get that reputation of complaining to officials. Until we get to that level, we have to button up and zip up and play our butts off."

    Despite Cunningham's dismissal, the 20-year-old has been in fine form recently – averaging 17.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds since November 30 (a span of 18 games).

    With the Pistons looking to bounce back with a trip to the Golden States Warriors on Tuesday, Cunningham insisted that his team are heading in the right direction.

    "We're still locked in," Cunningham added. "We feel ourselves getting better and growing together. 

    "This is a big road trip that we got to go into. We're going to play some good teams. We're excited to take that challenge on and see what we got." 

  • Curry-less Warriors lose to Timberwolves, Gobert stars on Jazz return Curry-less Warriors lose to Timberwolves, Gobert stars on Jazz return

    The Golden State Warriors felt the absence of Steph Curry and Draymond Green as they fell to a 119-99 loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

    Curry was ruled out with a hand injury and Green missed a fourth straight game with a calf issue as the Warriors lost for a fifth time in their last seven outings.

    Jaylen Nowell scored 17 points for the Timberwolves and Malik Beasley added 16, which included five second-half 3-pointers in a one-sided conclusion to the game.

    The travel-weary Warriors, playing on the road for a fourth successive time, are now 31-12 for the season and remain second in the Western Conference.


    Gobert guides Utah past Denver

    Returning from a five-game coronavirus-enforced absence, Rudy Gobert made up for lost time with a double-double in the Utah Jazz's 125-102 win over the Denver Nuggets.

    The Jazz had lost four in a row in Gobert's absence, but the center's 18 points and 19 rebounds got his side back on track at the Ball Arena.

    Gobert has now recorded 15 straight double-doubles either side of his spell on the sidelines, while Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 21 points.

    Nikola Jokic top-scored for the Nuggets with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists for his ninth triple-double of the season – no player has more.


    Suns win again, Rockets looking up

    The NBA-leading Phoenix Suns won for a sixth time in seven games with a 135-108 victory over the Detroit Pistons, with Devin Booker scoring 30 points.

    JaVale McGee added 20 as the Pistons, who had Josh Jackson ejected in the fourth quarter, fell to a fourth defeat since New Year's Day, each of those by at least 27 points.

    Elsewhere on Sunday, the Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 118-112 to exact some revenge two days on from losing to the same opponents.

    Eric Gordon made a clutch bucket with 12.5 seconds left, adding to Christian Woods' 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets won for a second time in three games.

  • Kevin Durant faces Nets layoff as MRI reveals extent of knee injury Kevin Durant faces Nets layoff as MRI reveals extent of knee injury

    Kevin Durant faces a spell out of action after the Brooklyn Nets confirmed the extent of the knee injury he suffered in Saturday's win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Coach Steve Nash was hopeful that Durant would avoid a layoff, but the news from his MRI scan was not what the Nets wanted to hear.

    In a statement, the Nets said on Sunday: "Following an MRI this morning, Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee.

    "Durant is expected to return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation. Updates regarding his return will be provided as appropriate."

    ESPN reported that Durant may be absent for the team for around four to six weeks.

    The Nets' 120-105 win over the Pelicans improved their record this season to 27-15, but it came at the cost of losing Durant in the second quarter.

    He had racked up 12 points in 12 minutes of action, before the injury occurred when Nets guard Bruce Brown fell backwards into the two-time NBA champion.

    Durant is averaging 29.3 points per game this season, along with 7.4 total rebounds and 5.8 assists.

    His absence will shift workload onto James Harden, with Kyrie Irving unable to play home games for the Nets due to his unvaccinated status conflicting with a New York City mandate affecting indoor arenas. Harden is averaging 22.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists.

    The Nets, who sit 0.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference, are next in action on Monday when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.