Mon, 26 Oct 2020

Kings announcer Napear resigns amid BLM controversy

Field Level Media
03 Jun 2020, 12:05 GMT+10

Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear resigned Tuesday amid the controversy he created with his "All Lives Matter" tweet over the weekend.

"I want to thank the fans for their overwhelming love and support," Napear said in a statement Tuesday, ending his 32-year run as voice of the Kings. "I will always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart."

Napear, 60, was also fired by Sacramento radio station KHTK, where he hosted a sports-talk radio show. The station originally suspended him Monday after an exchange with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins on Sunday on Twitter.

At the end of the online discussion, Cousins asked Napear his opinion of Black Lives Matter. Napear tweeted, "ALL LIVES MATTER. ... EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!"

The tweet came during a weekend of unrest throughout the United States after the May 25 death of George Floyd, who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer held him down with a knee to his neck.

Substituting "All Lives Matter" for "Black Lives Matter" is perceived as a way to negate the grievances that the black community is trying to expose.

"I'm not as educated on BLM as I thought I was," Napear told 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."

Napear also took to Twitter to stem the damage, writing, "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!"

Napear, the Kings' play-by-play broadcaster for more than 30 years, previously drew negative attention when he suggested that former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was not racist because black people worked for the team.

The Kings released a statement announcing Napear's resignation.

"We thank him for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best."

--Field Level Media

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