Former NBA star steps up to provide scholarships for Stephon Clark’s sons
Carol Ozemhoya ow contributor | 4/3/2018, 11:04 a.m.
More and more celebrities and sports stars are stepping in to express their concerns over the continued police shootings of people of color, especially Black men. The most recent drawing national attention and sparking demonstrations is the shooting of Stephon Clark, a young Black father of two who was shot and killed by police in his grandparents’ back yard in Sacramento. Matt Barnes, who once played with the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors, attended a rally on Saturday, where he announced his intention to make sure that Clark’s sons will be able to attend college when they grow up. “How do we explain to our kids that because of the color of your skin people aren’t going to like you,” Barnes told the protestors while holding one of the young boys. “We fear what we don’t know. We don’t know these cops, so we fear them. They don’t know us, so they fear us,” Barnes said. “When you get out and know someone on a first-name basis, when you are called to the situation, next time you may be able to defuse the situation.” Newly released video of the incident shows that Clark, 22, who was unarmed, was shot eight times, although some reports say the two officers fired at least 20 shots while pursuing him. Saturday’s march was organized by Black Lives Matter, but Barnes said he heard about it and had to come when his own 9-year-old son asked him about what happened. The child apparently asked his father if police were “bad” for what they did to Clark. “I had to pause for a second because the emotion of me wanted to say yes, but at the same time cops aren’t bad, one cop doesn’t make every one bad,” Barnes said. “But one Black man doesn’t make everybody guilty. It’s more than color. It comes down to wrong and right.” Barnes said of his sons, “I fear for them. I fear for the streets and now I’ve got to fear for the cops. How do we explain to our kids that because of the color of your skin people aren’t going to like you? That’s not fair, but that’s what we have to explain to our kids every day.” He added: “This isn’t a Sacramento problem, this is a nationwide problem.”