Former Sacramento Kings player Matt Barnes led Sacramento protestors in a rally against the killing of Stephon Clark, who was unarmed and holding only a cellphone when he was killed in his grandmother’s backyard earlier this month.
The former NBA player has taken a special interest in Clark’s case as well as the subsequent protests that have taken place in the Sacramento area. He even sponsored one of Saturday’s rallies alongside Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
Barnes, who grew up in the Sacramento area, said that Clark’s story had a special meaning to him.
“It’s personal,” Barnes said at the rally, according to the Sacramento Bee. “I’ve got two 9-year-old boys, and I fear for them. How do we explain to our kids because of the color of your skin, people aren’t going to like you?”
He stood on stage carrying one of Clark’s sons while he spoke to the crowd, at one point telling them that he was starting a scholarship fund for Clark’s children.
“You have my word being from here I am going to do everything,” he said. “I am going to be (a) driving force behind Sacramento making the change.”
Barnes’ former team, the Sacramento Kings, announced this week that they would partner with the city’s local Black Lives Matter chapter with the goal of investing in Black youth. The announcement came Thursday, days after a Kings game was interrupted by protesters in the wake of the shooting death of Clark.
In another vigil held on Saturday evening, a demonstrator was hit by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy’s car, CNN reports. A bystander caught footage of the incidenrt which seemed to show the vehicle accelerating towards the victim.
The woman suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. They are investigating the incident.