Sacramento Kings television play-by-play announcer and KHTK radio host Grant Napear has been placed on administrative leave by KHTK for comments made on Twitter, per Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.
The tweet was in response to a question from ex-King and current free-agent NBA center DeMarcus Cousins, who asked the broadcaster his thoughts on Black Lives Matter:
Hey!!!! How are you? Thought you forgot about me. Haven't heard from you in years. ALL LIVES MATTER…EVERY SINGLE ONE!!! https://t.co/DfzKl3w0jm— Grant Napear (@GrantNapearshow) June 1, 2020
NBC Sports Bay Area also released a statement, per Kings insider James Ham:
“Our company values and honors inclusion and equality. Racism, injustice and violence run counter to everything we stand for and cannot be tolerated in our society. Grant Napear’s recent comments on Twitter do not reflect the views of NBC Sports California. We’ve spoken to Grant’s employer, the Sacramento Kings, about the matter.”
The Kings released a statement, as well: “Grant’s recent Twitter comments do not reflect our organization’s views and values. We are reviewing the matter further with our broadcast partners NBC Sports California and Sports 1140 KHTK.”
“I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was,” Napear told Marcos Breton of the Sacramento Bee. “I had no idea that when I said ‘All Lives Matter’ that it was counter to what BLM was trying to get across.”
“I’m in pain,” Napear added. “I’m 60 years old and I still have a lot learn.”
Napear also expressed remorse in a tweet on Sunday:
If it came across as dumb I apologize. That was not my intent. That's how I was raised. It has been engrained in me since I can remember. I've been doing more listening than talking the past few days. I believe the past few days will change this country for the better! https://t.co/Gsh84BPBEk— Grant Napear (@GrantNapearshow) June 1, 2020
Breton noted the issues with the “All Lives Matter” phrase:
“I’ve stopped trying to argue with people who either hate BLM or consider it a terrorist group. They are not. As the Floyd case proves again—and we should be beyond needing any more proof—police brutality has resulted in the deaths of too many black men.
“Implicit bias within police departments results in little kids getting beat up for no reason, as we saw in Rancho Cordova recently. In these cases and so many more, we are left to deduce that law enforcement responds differently to people of color. We are left to deduce that people of color are more likely to get killed, get a beat down or suffer indignity in confrontations with law enforcement than white people.
“Those who deny this are part of the problem. Sometimes those who deny it do so with the phrase: ‘All Lives Matter.’ That phrase is politically fraught and a flash point, as we saw when Napear’s tweet blew up.”
Breton further spoke on Napear and said he believed his apology to be sincere.
“But if his apology on the radio is as sincere as the one he shared with me, I support forgiveness,” Breton wrote. “Our community is hurting right now and this Twitter fight is emblematic of our divisions and our pain.”
Nationwide protests have occurred in response to racial inequality and police brutality, sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Those protests have also occurred in Sacramento, which has also seen the killings of unarmed black men that include Mikel McIntyre and Stephon Clark in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Protests have occurred in Sacramento for three straight nights, per KCRA-TV.
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Shawn Stewart is a writer for Sports 4 America