Kings partner with Black Lives Matter, Build. Black. Coalition amid protests

The Kings are partnering with Build. Black. Coalition and Black Lives Matter Sacramento in hopes of transforming the community.

The Kings are partnering with Black Lives Matter Sacramento and Build. Black. Coalition in hopes of transforming the community by investing in black youth, the team announced Thursday.

The partnership comes after protests brought attention to the death of Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed March 18 in his backyard when police officers mistook a cellphone for a gun. The demonstrations delayed two games preventing fans from entering Golden 1 Center, and sparked conversations in Sacramento.

The team announced plans to set up an education fund for Clark's two young children, co-sponsor a forum in south Sacramento Friday and work with Build. Black. Coalition "to support the education of young people and to provide the workforce preparation and economic development efforts" in a multi-year effort.

Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a statement Thursday sending praise to the partnership between the Kings and Build. Black. Coalition.

“I love that the Kings have joined the Build.Black coalition and are stepping up to provide an education fund for Stephon Clark’s children in addition to commuting to new investments in Sacramento’s African-American youth," Steinberg said, via The Sacramento Bee.

“It is clear to me and I know the Kings that there remains a huge gulf between the exciting Sacramento renaissance and the daily struggles experienced by so many in our communities, especially communities of color. The Kings actions are a real step towards addressing those underlying issues and connecting the excitement and vitality in downtown to our neighborhoods, which is exactly what motivated me to run for mayor.“

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive delivered a speech to fans after the first game was delayed last Thursday.

MORE: Golden 1 Center placed on lockdown as protesters surround arena for Kings game

"We here at the Kings recognize that we have a big platform," Ranadive said last Thursday. "It is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously. And we stand here before you—old, young, black, white, brown—and we are all united in our commitment."

The Kings play the Pacers at 10 p.m. ET at Golden 1 Center and police plan to increase security in preparation for any protests.