Matt Barnes Announces Scholarships for #StephonClark’s Sons at Sacramento, Calif., Rally

Matt Barnes holding one of Stephon Clark’s sons at a rally he initiated on March 31, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.
Screenshot: @blakersdozen (via Twitter)

Updated Saturday, March 31, 2018, 9 p.m. EDT: Hours before a Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors game on Saturday, former King Matt Barnes held a rally “for unity and action” around the March 18 police execution of 22-year-old Stephon Clark.


The last two Kings’ games were blocked by protesters who descended on the downtown Sacramento, Calif., arena to decry the fact that yet another unarmed black person was struck down by police who are now being paid to sit behind desks. Clark, the father of two young sons, was shot six times in his back.

Barnes, a Sacramento native, attended Clark’s funeral on Thursday and was joined at the rally by current King Garrett Thompson at Cesar Chavez Plaza.

“I love Sacramento and this community will always be a part of me,” said Barnes. “As the father of two boys, I can’t stay silent on this issue. We clearly need to unite, organize and act to bring the accountability that is so desperately needed. This rally is the beginning to seeing that change.”


At the end of the rally, both of Clark’s young sons joined Barnes onstage. He announced that he was starting a scholarship fund to help them go to college.


“I fear for the streets and now I’ve got to fear the cops,” Barnes said as he playfully held one of the boys. “How do we explain to our kids that because of the color of your skin that people aren’t going to like you?”


The “basketball husband” also kept it very PC in his remarks by mentioning intraracial crime, saying that he hopes the march will help “hold [police] accountable, to bring the community together and address the black-on-black crime issue in not only this neighborhood but in neighborhoods across the country.”


Former NBA basketball player Matt Barnes arrives at the funeral services for police shooting victim Stephon Clark at Bayside of South Sacramento Church in Sacramento, Calif., on March 29, 2018.
Photo: Jeff Chiu, Pool (AP Images)

Former NBA player Matt Barnes announced that he will lead a rally for unity and action around the police shooting death of 22-year-old Stephon Clark on Saturday in his hometown.

Joining Barnes at the 12 p.m. PST event will be the Rev. Shane Harris of National Action Network, members of Stephon Clark’s family, community leaders and residents. It will take place at Cesar Chavez Plaza, 910 I St., in Sacramento, Calif.


Barnes is a Sacramento native and former Kings forward who retired from the NBA in 2017 after 14 seasons.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.