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Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards apologizes for slur: ‘I just got to be better’

Edwards called the incident “a wake-up call” that showed him how much weight his words carry. In the past two weeks, he said he’s learned “in the blink of an eye, things can be gone.”

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards (1) drives to the basket past Philadelphia 76ers forward Danny Green on Feb. 25 at Target Center in Minneapolis.
USA Today Sports file photo
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MINNEAPOLIS -- For the first time since he posted a since-deleted video to his Instagram account in which he used a slur toward the gay community, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards faced the media Monday.

In the post, Edwards took a video of what appeared to be a group of men, called them a gay slur and added, “look at what the world done came to.”

Edwards said Monday that he respects “everybody,” adding that he knows what he posted was “immature, and I’m sorry for that if I hurt anyone.” The 21-year-old, third-year pro said he apologizes to all Minnesota fans. He noted he’s working with the team and is “working to be better.”

Edwards repeated a number of those sentiments throughout his press conference at Monday’s team media day.

“I’m sorry for what I said and my actions,” he said. “I’m looking to be better.”

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Anthony Edwards
Minnesota Timberwolves

Both Timberwolves coach Chris Finch and president of basketball operations Tim Connelly noted they hoped this serves as a “period of growth” for Edwards. Edwards didn’t yet have specific examples of how he plans to do start that process of improvement, but when asked specifically, he did say he would clamp down on any homophobic slurs he heard uttered in the locker room and would have no issue with having a gay teammate.

“I’m willing to do whatever, whatever it takes to make it right,” Edwards said. “To show everybody that I come with respect and that’s not who I am. I’m willing to take it as far as I need to.”

Finch said he met with the guard shortly after the video was posted and expressed his disappointment. He spoke to Edwards about fighting the urge to feel as though everyone needs to know what he thinks at any given time, and made sure Edwards understood the damage and hurt he caused.

“He was extremely regretful, sorry, owned it,” Finch said.

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Connelly reiterated that the Timberwolves want to be “a proud representation of the community” that acts without judgment.

“Ant is a wonderful kid. Certainly, it’s not something we condone, we’re not going to allow organizationally. But anytime you screw up, it’s a period of growth, ideally, so we’re trying to use any instances where our guys are not where they should be or are not representing us in a way that’s first class, as a potential to grow,” Connelly said. “We’ve had countless conversations, and I know he’s disappointed in his own actions, he’s disappointed that he put himself in that position, and hopefully he’ll continue to grow and we’ll continue to educate these guys on the importance of being really positive community members and respectful of all people that we’re lucky enough to have in our community.”

Edwards called the incident “a wake-up call” that showed him how much weight his words carry. In the past two weeks, he said he’s learned “in the blink of an eye, things can be gone.”

Included in that is a segment of fans. Edwards’ relationship with the fan base has always clearly meant a lot to the young guard, who previously had given people no reason to dislike him. That is no longer the case.

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“It’s kind of messed up. I want people to love me. I don’t want to give nobody a reason to hate me or talk bad about me. I felt bad for myself and for what I said, for sure,” Edwards said. “You got to think before you speak. Words hurt people, and like I said, I just got to be better.”

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