Sacramento Kings Pledge Action To Help Combat Social And Racial Injustice
Sacramento, Calif. – Today, in solidarity with communities across the country, the Sacramento Kings announced they will continue their commitment to utilize their platform to influence social and systemic change to address institutional racism. After extensive conversations over recent weeks, both internally and externally, the organization developed a “Pledge to Our Black Community” to help combat social and racial injustice and invest in meaningful change. Some of the steps outlined in the pledge include:
- Investing in effective violence prevention, intervention and interruption strategies to benefit local Black youthby donating$75,000 to collaborate on a series of youth and young adult-led Kings and Queens Rise workshops, launch a virtual summer Kings and Queens Rise Co-ed Youth NBA2K League in partnership with Build.Black., and support the Black Child Legacy Campaign Youth Violence Prevention Program.
- Fostering economic equity in Sacramento by committing to highlight and partner with small and large regional Black-owned businesses.
- Partnering with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx and Milwaukee Bucks to host the third Team Up for Change summit to address issues of social injustice and inequity with the goal of working towards more equitable communities.
- Promoting civic engagement by hosting voter registration workshops, providing employees a paid day off for election days and continuing to lead and relaunch Rally the Vote, a coalition of professional sports teams encouraging voter registration.
The Kings remain committed to fighting for racial equity and social justice, speaking up against police brutality and building upon this pledge until there is meaningful change.
View the Kings “Pledge to Our Black Community” HERE.
In addition, the team debuted a PSAcalling for unity and action in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal murder at the hands of police, in collaboration with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx and Sacramento Area Youth Speaks. The two-minute video features players from all three teams including Kings guards De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and forward Marvin Bagley III along with Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, guards Josh Okogie and D’Angelo Russell, and Lynx guards Rachel Banham, Lexie Brown and forward Karima Christmas-Kelly. Kings Head Coach Luke Walton, Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders, Kings General Manager Vlade Divac, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, Kings Assistant Coaches Jesse Mermuys and Bobby Jackson, Kings TV color analyst Doug Christie, and Lynx Assistant Coach Rebekkah Brunson also share their sentiments in the PSA.
View the PSA HERE.
On Saturday, Kings players, coaches, executives and team members joined “A Peaceful Protest for Our Rights” that began at Golden 1 Center and ended at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Kings Assistant Coach Bobby Jackson helped to organize the peaceful community protest and tipped off the program calling for unity and justice. Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé addressed the crowd of thousands gathered, saying, “We have just one message – Black Lives Matter.” Kings forward Harrison Barnes also spoke about the importance of protesting to raise awareness and showing up at the voting booth.
In March 2018, following the tragic killing of Stephon Clark by police in Sacramento, the team voiced a commitment to work alongside the community to prevent future tragedies. The Kings, together with the Boston Celtics, released a PSA, “Accountability. We Are One,” and separately launched a multi-year partnership with Build.Black., a coalition of community leaders that organized to support transformational change for Black communities in Sacramento. Over the last two years, Kings players, coaches, Legends and team members have participated in youth healing forums, STEM education and mentoring workshops, and a co-ed youth basketball league, all focused on using sport as an agent for change. Together with Build.Black., the team has held more than 40 events and hosted nearly 2,500 area youth associated with the coalition, impacting the lives of countless youth across the city. This partnership and the Kings leadership to create the Team Up for Change platform, a model for how sports teams can address issues of injustice in their respective cities, were recognized with the 2019 and 2020 NBA Innovation Inclusion Awards. The Kings were also recently named among the finalists for ESPN’s 2020 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award.
To learn more, visit Kings.com.