The NBA’s Sacramento Kings are taking further steps to work with Black Lives Matter activists who continue to protest outside of the team’s Golden 1 Center.
In an unprecedented move by a national sports team, the Kings have partnered with Build. Black. Coalition and Black Lives Matter Sacramento to fundamentally transform black communities through deep investment in black youth in the capital.
“As part of heir commitment to the goals of Build. Black. Coalition, a group of Sacramento community leaders who have organized in the wake of the Stephon Clark shooting, a tragic death of a young man by Sacramento police, the Sacramento Kings will create an education fund for the children of Stephon Clark,” a release from Build. Black. Coalition stated.
The release added “This fund cannot fix the issues that led to the death of their father, but it will secure opportunities for their futures while the family and city grapple with healing.”
In addition to the fund for Clark’s children, the Kings are creating a multi-year plan in partnership with Build. Black. Coalition to support the education of young people and to provide the workforce preparation and economic development efforts needed to truly build black futures.
On top of the outreach, the team is fencing in the perimeter around the building’s main plaza, where protests have taken place in recent days. Only individuals with a game ticket will be allowed in the fenced-off area; those who attempt to enter the fenced off space without a ticket can be cited for trespassing.
Since protestors began blocking the entrance to Golden 1 Center last week in protest of the shooting of Clark on March 18, The Kings have been highly responsive to the activists who are stating that “Until Black people can feel safe in our own back yards- The time for ‘Business as usual’ ends now Sacramento.”
For their first game back since the protests last weekend, the Kings and away team Boston Celtics joined together to record a PSA calling on themselves and the community to be accountable for the incident and others. Both teams also took to the court in shirts with the worlds “Accountability. We Are One” on the front and #StephonClark on the back.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 25, 2018
Team owner, Vivek Ranadivé, also addressed the audience stating “We’re going to work really hard to prevent this kind of a tragedy from happening again.”
The Kings and Build. Black. Coalition’s efforts will begin tomorrow with a forum from 5pm to 8pm at South Sacramento Christian Church. The event, titled Kings and Queens Rise: A Youth Voice Forum For Healing, will feature Sacramento Kings players Vince Carter, Garrett Temple, and Kings legend Doug Christie along with Build. Black. leaders Pastor Les Simmons, Voice of the Youth activist Berry Accius, Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet P. Hewitt, Greater Sacramento Urban League President Cassandra Jennings, and more.
The group will lead an unapologetic discussion about Sacramento’s black community, police violence, and facilitating healing the grief that youth are feeling in the wake of the unarmed Clark being shot 20 times in his own backyard. Food will be provided by Sacramento food trucks and transit will be made available through passes provided by Sacramento Regional Transit. For more information on the event, follow Build. Black. Coalition online.