- The start of the Sacramento Kings game against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night was delayed due to protests outside the stadium over the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark last weekend.
- Protestors blocked the entrance to the arena, leading the Kings to decide to shut the doors and play the game in front of a nearly empty crowd.
- After the game, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé addressed the crowd, expressing sympathy for the Clark family and support for the protestors.
Protesters blocked the entrance to the arena, and eventually, the Kings made the decision to shut the doors for the game, preventing the majority of ticket holders from making it into the game, and leading the Kings to play in front of an almost empty arena.
After the game, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé addressed the crowd, recognising the protestors rights to march and be heard, and offering a message of unity moving forward.
“On Sunday we had a horrific, horrific tragedy in our community,” Ranadivé began, going on to offer sympathies to the Clark family from the entire Kings organisation.
He then addressed the protests that took place outside the arena, offering a message of unity and a promise to help moving forward.
“We at the Kings recognise people’s ability to protest peacefully, and we respect that. We here at the Kings recognise that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege, but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.”
“We stand here before you, old, young, black, white, brown, and we are all united in our commitment. We recognise 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.”
You can watch the entirety of his message below.
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