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After protesters disrupt two home games, Sacramento Kings partner with Black Lives Matter

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Black Lives Matter protesters block the entrance to the Golden 1 Center where the Sacramento Kings are playing on Tuesday in Sacramento, California. BLM protesters took to the streets as hundreds packed a special city council at Sacramento City Hall to address concerns over the shooting death of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings franchise has found itself as a central player in the reaction to the police killing of Stephon Clark, and now is partnering with Black Lives Matter and Build. Black. Coalition to make a positive impact in the lives of young black people in the community, according to USA Today.

What’s the story?

Kings games have been the site of large protests, which have twice barred thousands of fans from entering games, and the team’s owner, Vivek Ranadive, made an appeal to the fans for unity in the city.

Leaders from Black Lives Matter and the NAACP have spearheaded calls for justice, saying that the police officers who shot and killed the 22-year-old Clark should be charged for using excessive force against an unarmed man.

The Kings’ partnership with BLM and Build. Black. Coalition is not meant to address what happened, however. The purpose of the collaboration is to look ahead toward positive change, including starting a college fund for Clark’s two children.

“This fund cannot fix the issues that led to the death of their father,” a statement read. “But it will secure opportunities for their future while the family and the city grapples with healing.”

What else will the partnership do?

The Kings will partner with Build. Black. Coalition to “support the education of young people and to provide the workforce preparation and economic development efforts needed to truly #BuildBlackFutures.”

There aren’t yet more specific details about what exactly the Kings will do as a part of this initiative.

Placating protesters?

Protesters have blocked the entrances at two Kings home games recently, keeping thousands of fans from attending and forcing the franchise to offer refunds to those kept out, which is certainly a costly measure.

While the team hopes this initiative will ease tensions in the community, there will be a noticeably heavier police presence at Thursday night’s game, with officers reportedly to be equipped with riot gear and people without tickets kept away from the arena entrances. The Kings take on the Indiana Pacers.

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