The city of Sacramento has been engulfed by grief and outrage this week as the community mourns the death of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old black man who police shot dead last weekend in his own backyard while unarmed. On Thursday night, a large crowd of protesters blocked the entrance to the Golden 1 Center downtown to prevent fans from entering the building to see their hometown Kings take on the visiting Hawks.
After the game, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive addressed the crowd, first offering his condolences to Clark’s family, while also expressing his support for the protesters who took Thursday night’s game as an opportunity to draw attention to the seemingly endless problem of racial injustice in America.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who is never shy about speaking out on social issues, praised Ranadive when speaking to reporters on Friday night for how he handled the situation and expressed his own grief in response to an occurrence that has become all too familiar in this country.
“It was a bizarre scene,” Kerr said. “More than anything, very very sad. The story is just awful. I was very proud of the way the Kings handled it, the way the NBA handled it. I thought they did everything they could, and I thought Vivek’s words afterward were beautiful. The main sentiment, though, is just horror and sadness for the family involved, and not much else to say.”
According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Kerr also plans to participate in a similar protest in the Oakland area this weekend.