NFL Team Owners Can Learn From The Sacramento Kings’ Protest Response

22-year-old Sacramento, California resident was minding his own business when police fired at him. Unsurprisingly, the officers responsible for Clarks death initially said they thought he had a gun, then they tried to say they thought he had a crowbar.

Finally, the real story emerges; they mistook his cellphone for a weapon. As a slight aside, it is literally impossible to mistake a cell phone that weighs less than a pound to a gun, which weighs four three pounds and up. Different shapes, different light reflecting properties and no cylindrical design principles that would cause one to mistake a phone for a weapon. However, this happens over and over, again.

20 shots were fired. They say they thought that he was armed, so the officers on duty refused to administer for aid. They let him bleed out and die in his grandmothers backyard.  What is to be done?

Well, from a historical perspective, law enforcement will do nothing. The police union will protect those responsible and Clark will have died for nothing but for the fear the officers had when they first laid eyes on him. The fear of a black man. They can say what they thought they saw until the second coming, but what they actually saw was a black man.  

To far too many law enforcement officers, black skin is a death sentence. To far many in the justice department, black death and disenfranchisement deserve no recourse, no response, and no justice. 

This is the type of callous disregard for human life is all too familiar to African Americans. However, a significant portion of the country still will blame Clark for his own death. Thats a big part of the problem, some of our countrymen still believe African American folks have been crying wolf for 250 years, or so.

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At the game last night, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Randiv eloquently and calmfully addressed the fans and the community after protestors at the arena expressed their outrage about the death of unarmed #StephonClark.

Apparently, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive isnt one of them. As protestors locked arms outside the Kings’ home arena before the game to protest the death unarmed American citizen, Vivek was on the court surrounded by his players and expressing sympathies for the Clark family. He even went so far as to recognize the franchises 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.”

The protest outside of the Golden1 Center delayed the game 20 minutes, but police intervened to clear the entrance. 

“Basketball was secondary tonight,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The league obviously made the decision that I think was in the best interest of the safety of the fans that were already in the arena. I think it was the right decision by the league but certainly not an easy one.”

Sacramento’s Vince Carter said players from both teams talked to one another about the situation throughout the game. An eight-time All-Star, Carter praised Ranadive’s postgame comments.

“What Vivek said speaks volumes,” Carter said. “Regardless of your skin color, it’s just what’s right and what’s wrong and how we can support each other, even if it has nothing to do with you. Lend a hand and support. That’s the message that needs to shine through all of this.”

As the National Football League tries to drag its players away from the idea of protest, demonizing and marginalizing the memory of Colin Kaepernick, the National Basketball Association keeps upping the ante. First players, then coaches, now a team owner is putting his reputation on the line to get on the people’s side of an issue that’s tearing our country apart.  

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