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NBA players call for accountability with PSA, Stephon Clark shirts

Posted at 7:13 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 07:13:54-04

SACRAMENTO, CA (CNN/RNN) – Before their basketball game Sunday, the NBA teams Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics wore warmup shirts and released a PSA that honored an unarmed black man who was killed by police last week.

Both with their shirts and in their 30-second PSA, the two teams expressed solidarity and called for accountability in “these tragedies.”

The teams specifically referenced the case of 22-year-old Stephon Clark.

Clark was killed March 18 when officers fired at him 20 times after they responded to reports of a man breaking car windows in the area.

Police have said they thought Clark was holding a gun, but investigators say only a cell phone was found near his body.

The players’ shirts read "Accountability. We are one," on the front and "#StephonClark" on the back. 

The PSa video was shown inside the arena shortly before tipoff, according to Boston.com, an affiliate of The Boston Globe.

"We will not stick to sports. We will not ‘shut up and dribble,'" said players in the video.

The comment recalls one made by Fox News' Laura Ingraham, who said Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James should "shut up and dribble" in response to an interview James gave to ESPN that included criticism of President Donald Trump.

The shooting has sparked nationwide outrage and prompted a large response from Black Lives Matter protesters.

On Thursday, hundreds of people in Sacramento disrupted rush-hour traffic on a freeway then joined hands to block NBA fans from entering the Kings' arena, as reported by the Associated Press.

The protesters eventually dispersed and no arrests were made.

Two muted body camera videos have been released that show the shooting, regarding which Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Halm said the muting "builds suspicion" in the case.

Two officers were placed on paid administrative leave as a use of force investigation is underway.

The call for action from the Kings and Celticsis not the first to be made in recent years.

Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade dedicated his season to one of the students killed in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after learning the 17-year-old was buried in Wade's jersey. He also donated $200,000 to the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.

In 2016, James, Wade and two other players decried police shootings of people of color and spoke out about racial tensions in the U.S. while onstage at the ESPYs, CNN Money reports.

In 2014, players from the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers (including James) wore "I Can’t Breathe" shirts to honor 44-year-old Eric Garner, who died in July of that year after a police officer put him in a chokehold.

Copyright 2018 KMAX, KOVR, Twitter via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.