The Kings-Hawks game Thursday night in Sacramento didn’t tip off until about 20 minutes after the scheduled start time, and the Golden 1 Center doors were locked resulting in just hundreds of fans being in attendance.
This was due to protests taking place outside the arena in response to Sacramento police fatally shooting 22-year-old Stephon Clark on Sunday. Clark was unarmed; police mistook his cell phone for a handgun and shot him in his grandparents’ backyard.
After the game, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé addressed the crowd with a brief, but powerful speech about the protests and shooting.
This is no small thing from @SacramentoKings owner Vivek Randivé after the team's game was disrupted by those protesting local police killing an unarmed man in his own grandmother's backyard.
Listen to what he says, and compare that to what we've heard from owners in other sports pic.twitter.com/hzy203w1VR
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) March 23, 2018
“On Sunday, we had a horrific, horrific tragedy in our community. And on behalf of the players, the executives, the ownership, and the entire Kings family, I first of all wanted to express our deepest sympathies to the family. What happened was absolutely horrific, and we are so very sorry for your loss.”
“We at the Kings recognize your people’s ability to protest peacefully, and we respect that.”
“We stand here before you, old, young, black, white, brown, and we are all united in our commitment. We recognize that it’s not just business as usual, and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting with our own community, and we’re going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.”