Protesters delayed the start of the Hawks-Kings game Thursday night, bringing national attention to the killing of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man gunned down in his own backyard by Sacramento police.
Following the 105-90 victory against Atlanta, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive spoke to the sparse crowd and said the organization recognizes and respects people’s right to peacefully protest.
Players on both teams said it was difficult to keep focus on the game.
Per the Sac Bee:
“On behalf of the players, the executives, ownership and the entire Kings family, first of all, we wanted to express our deepest sympathies to the family. What happened was absolutely horrific, and we are so very sorry for your loss,” said Ranadive, flanked by the team and front office staff. “I also wanted to say that we at the Kings recognize your people’s ability to protest peacefully, and we respect that.”
Ranadive continued: “We here at the Kings recognize that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility we take really seriously. We stand 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 are going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.
“Thank you all for your patience and have a good night.”