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Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé gives powerful speech following arena protests

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“We recognize that it is not just business as usual, and we’re gonna work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place starting with our community”

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, Sacramento police shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark. The tragedy sparked protests, culminating in protesters linking arms and surrounding Golden 1 Center on Thursday. It was unclear if the game would even be played, as only about 2,400 people had made it into the arena before the team decided to bar entrance to everyone for safety purposes. The game did go on and play, and afterwards, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé brought the team together with himself to center court and delivered a powerful message of unity.

This kind of speech could easily have gone poorly, but Vivek and the team handled it with the utmost care and grace. There haven’t been many times that I’ve been able to say I’m proud of this team in the last decade, but this moment is one of them.

The team has also stated that information on full refunds for anyone who bought a ticket to the game would be coming in the next few days.