After holding a peaceful protest over the weekend in support of Black Lives Matter, the Kings have taken one more step towards addressing racial inequities with their “Pledge to Our Black Community”. These are actionable goals the Kings will pursue to use their platform to influence change.
The first item was partnering with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx as well as Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to produce a PSA calling for unity and collective action. De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, and Bogdan Bogdanovic each participated, along with Vlade Divac, Doug Christie, Luke Walton, Bobby Jackson, and Jesse Mermuys.
The Kings will also be hosting the third Team Up for Change summit with the Wolves, Lynx, and the Milwaukee Bucks to continue the conversation about social injustice. The Kings and Bucks established Team Up for Change in 2018 after the death of Stephon Clark in Sacramento and an instance of police brutality involving Sterling Brown in Milwaukee.
Within the city of Sacramento, the Kings are working with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition to provide career development and other resources for formerly incarcerated individuals. The organization is also collaborating with Build.Black and the Black Child Legacy Campaign Youth Violence Prevention Program to support local youth through young adult-led workshops and a virtual NBA2K League.
Finally, the Kings are instituting a paid vacation day on Election Day to encourage employees to vote in addition to hosting voter registration drives. Harrison Barnes spoke passionately about citizens using their power in elections at the protest Saturday.
"If all we do is protest and don't follow through to voting, we're not going to see the change we want to see." - @hbarnes#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/WR1DvmvNro— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) June 6, 2020
The Kings have already been taking their social responsibility seriously in recent years and are now committed to seizing this moment in response to the death of George Floyd and the corresponding nationwide protests. Even in an NBA shutdown, the Kings haven’t ceased doing work for their community.