Clippers Continue to be Moved to Action by Thousand Oaks Shooting
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LOS ANGELES — Even with a couple more days between them and last week’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, the event remained heavy on the minds of the people about to put on a show Monday at Staples Center.
Upon hearing from local authorities that blood donations were among the most pressing needs following the shooting, the Clippers teamed with Cedars-Sinai to stage a blood drive on the suite level of Staples from 6 p.m. through halftime of Monday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. Fans who gave blood got a pair of tickets to see the Clippers take on either the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets or Phoenix Suns.
Additionally, to raise money to support the families of those affected by the shooting, the Clippers on Sunday also started selling the “ENOUGH” T-shirts that they and the Milwaukee Bucks – and then the Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks – wore before their games on Saturday and Sunday. The names of the 12 shooting victims appear on the back of the black shirts, which are on sale for $19.99 at the Clippers website, with the entirety of the net proceeds being directed to the Ventura County Community Foundation.
Before the Clippers played Saturday, their public address announcer Eric Smith made a statement: “The Clippers are using their collective voice right now to tell the world that gun violence is never OK.”
“I was probably as proud of this franchise as I’ve been since I’ve been here,” Rivers said before Monday’s game against the Warriors. “Because instead of doing a moment of silence and saying nothing, we said something. We wore something, and more importantly, we spoke about it.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr commended the Clippers – and the NBA – for supporting that stand.
“We have to address this issue as a country,” Kerr said. “Our government has to address it, we can’t just keep spewing out the same garbage about, ‘Well, it’s the Second Amendment; it’s the price of freedom.’ Give me a break. We don’t have freedom if we can’t walk into a bar, a movie theater, a concert without being worried of getting murdered. So I’m glad that the NBA has backed up the players, I’m glad that Adam Silver came out and supported the players for wearing the shirts and I support the players. We’re all in this together, we just want people to be safe and so I’m all in.”