Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive addressed a small crowd inside Golden1 Center after the team’s delayed game Thursday against the Atlanta Hawks, as protests took place around Sacramento in the wake of the weekend police shooting of an unarmed black man.
Protesters holding signs with messages such as “Shut it down” converged arm-in-arm outside the Kings’ home arena before the game to demonstrate Sunday’s fatal shooting of 22-year-old Stephon Clark.
Ranadive, surrounded by Kings players on the court, expressed sympathies to Clark’s family and recognized the franchise’s role as a community leader.
“We are so very sorry for your loss,” Ranadive said. “We at the Kings recognize people’s abilities to protest peacefully, and we respect that. We here at the Kings realize 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, and we stand here before you, old, young, black, white, brown, and we are all united in our commitment.
“We recognize that it is 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 in our own community. We are going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.