In 2014, the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers stood in solidarity after the death of Eric Garner wearing t-shirts with his famously tragic last words, “I can’t breathe.’’ In 2017, with outspoken NBA superstar LeBron James leading the helm, the Cavs against the Boston Celtics linked arms speaking out against police brutality in their season opener. On March 25, the Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics served as athlete-activists when they wore t-shirts in commemoration of Stephon Clark, the unarmed 22-year-old who was shot to his death 20 times by a police officer in Sacramento.

Sacramento Kings players Vince Carter, right, and Justin Jackson along with their teammates and Boston Celtics players wear T-shirts in memory of Stephon Clark before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Celtics in Sacramento, Calif. Clark was killed during a confrontation with Sacramento Police on March 18 in the backyard of his grandmother’s home. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

The t-shirts from Sunday’s game, which players wore during warm-ups read, “Accountability. We are one.”  The back of each shirt said, “#StephonClark”.

Akachi Okugo, a King’s player development staff member, initially came up with the idea of the shirts, but was put into action by guard Garrett Temple, who has been extremely forthright regarding his feelings about police brutality.

“It’s probably the toughest job in America and I applaud them for putting their lives on the line every night, every day, but with that comes responsibility. That’s the mantle that they carry and the burden that they bear,” Temple said according to “CBS News”.

Celtics forward, Jaylen Brown, also spoke about his ability to join in the activism.

“For the family I know it’s tough. No gesture can bring your son back, but as NBA players and people of influence, we have to continue to speak up about things,” said forward Jaylen Brown.

Players from both teams also participated in a video promoting unity.

“These tragedies have to stop.  There must be accountability. Black, white, brown- we are one,” the players said in the video.

The NBA had to approve the teams’ participation in the video, and members from both expressed their appreciation for the league allowing them to use their platform to speak out against police brutality.

For players like Temple, the hope is that such activism will not only gain the support of fans and the American people, but also help police officers when they have to respond to a crime.

“That may make police think twice about pulling that trigger if there is a little more consequence for those actions,” Temple said.