NBA players honour Stephon Clark, black man killed by police

Prior to their professional basketball game Sunday night, players from the Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings paid homage to Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old, unarmed Black man, and father of two, killed by Sacramento (California) police in a hail of 20 bullets. The players wore shirts depicting his name and the words “Accountability. We Are One,” according to Democracy Now.

A pre-recorded video message by some of the players was broadcast on the arena’s big screen before the game got underway.

“We need to act,” said Shane Larkin.

“Change is uncomfortable,” said Zack Randolph.

“We will not shut up and dribble,” said Al Horford. His comment was in reference to Fox News host Laura Ingraham who admonished basketball stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant, saying that they should “shut up and dribble” instead of engaging in politics and questioning policies by U.S. President Donald Trump. “It’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid US$100 million a year to bounce a ball,” she said.

Last week, Sacramento police released video footage showing police officers fatally shooting Clark 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard. They’ve yet to explain why the officers muted their body cameras after killing Clark in a barrage of gunfire.

During a CNN interview, Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, lamented that “no Obamas, no Trumps” had reached out to his family during their time of grief, instead, thanking local protesters for taking to the streets to “shut down freeways, shut down basketball arenas.”

When one of the hosts expressed sorrow for the family’s loss, Stevante Clark interrupted, saying “I don’t need you to be sorry, because I can’t do nothing with ‘I’m sorry’…We’re tired of the sorries and (media that) exploit out pain. We’re trying to move forward, bringing peace and justice, we want community centers, resource centers, libraries, our own security teams.”

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