Grant Napear was fired by his radio station and resigned as the play-by-play announcer for NBA franchise the Sacramento Kings after his tweet that said “All Lives Matter” was met with backlash amid the George Floyd protests.
Napear tweeted “All Lives Matter … Every Single One!” after former Kings star DeMarcus Cousins asked the 60-year-old for his view on the Black Lives Matter movement.
The phrase “All Lives Matter” is associated by some as mocking the Black Lives Matter movement, which began in 2013 as a campaign against systematic racism and violence toward black people.
Black Lives Matter has become the focal point of police brutality and racial injustice protests all over America after Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis last week when a police officer kept a knee on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The parent company of KHTK, the station at which Napear hosted his show, said “the timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive”. Napear had been placed on leave by the station Monday.
The Kings didn’t address the tweet in their statement, only saying that it wished Napear the best and thanked him for his service to the organisation.
In an apology posted by the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Napear said he was “not as educated on BLM as I thought. I had no idea that when I said ‘All Lives Matter’ that it was counter to what BLM is trying to get across”.
But Cousins did not seem surprised by Napear’s controversial tweet.
“Lol, as expected,” he replied.
Chris Webber, who also played for the Kings, wrote: “DeMarcus we know and have known who Grant is. The team knows as well. I’ve told them many times. They’ve seen it. They know who he is.”
Webber added two clown emojis.
Lol as expected.
While it was unclear what exactly Cousins and Webber were referring to, the Sacramento Bee reported that Napear was previously criticised for defending disgraced former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, saying that Sterling couldn’t be racist because he employed black people.
Sterling was fined millions of dollars and banned from the NBA for alleged racist remarks made to his ex-girlfriend.
“I want to thank the fans for their overwhelming love and support,” Napear said in a statement. “I will always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart.”
Napear had been the Kings announcer since 1988.
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
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