January 17, 2019

Kings Partner With Black Lives Matter Sacramento and Build Black

Kings Partner With Black Lives Matter Sacramento and Build Black

The Kings were scheduled to host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.

In recent years, an increasing number of N.B.A. players and coaches have used their celebrity to speak out on a host of social issues — and league officials, led by Commissioner Adam Silver, have encouraged them to do so, offering a stark contrast to their counterparts at the N.F.L., who have struggled to navigate their way through player protests.

Miami Heat players posed for a picture wearing hooded sweatshirts in 2012 after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. In 2014, several prominent players, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, warmed up for games in T-shirts that declared, “I Can’t Breathe” — a rallying cry for protesters after a New York police officer’s chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island.

In 2016, four of the N.B.A.’s biggest stars — James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade — opened the ESPY Awards by urging fellow athletes to push for change on issues of race, policing and violence.

The N.B.A. also delayed scheduling an All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., until the state revised its so-called “bathroom bill,” a law that had removed anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. At the same time, two of the league’s most respected coaches, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, have been outspoken critics of President Trump and his administration’s policies.

The Kings’ official partnership with Black Lives Matter Sacramento, though, is the first of its kind and an indication, perhaps, of the movement’s growing influence.

As a part of that partnership, the Kings announced that they were creating an educational fund for Clark’s children and co-sponsoring a forum for black youth in Sacramento on Friday night. Kings players Vince Carter and Garrett Temple were scheduled to participate.

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