One of Sacramento's most powerful institutions has taken the unusual step of embracing protests after police shot and killed Stephon Clark in his own backyard: The Sacramento Kings.
The NBA team set up an education fund for Stephon Clark’s children and partnered with local advocacy groups including Black Lives Matter Sacramento. During the first days of protests, demonstrators blocked Kings fans from entering the arena before a game, creating a costly problem for the team. But no one was stopped from walking into Saturday's game against the Golden State Warriors.
One player finds himself at the center of the team’s foray into social activism: Garrett Temple, an undrafted, 6-foot-5-inch guard who, at 31 years old, doesn’t have many contracts left.
“It’s too many lives being took, there’s too many lives just being took for mistakes,” said Temple, who, along with the rest of his team, wore warm-up gear last week imprinted with Clark's name. “You guys are trained. You know the difference between a cell phone and a gun. You could have tased him. You shooting a man because of some broken windows and you don’t even know if that’s the right person.”
In an open discussion with kids who live near the neighborhood where 22-year-old Clark was shot, however, one girl asked if Temple would consider a more disruptive protest. He insisted demonstrations on their own have a shelf life and emphasized the value of using his platform to get people to listen.
"Walking off the court isn't gonna erase implicit bias. Kneeling isn't gonna erase implicit bias," Temple said. "Talking to the chief of police about how to get police in the community and build a relationship with people."
This segment originally aired April 3, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.