Sacramento Kings TV Announcer Resigns Over ‘All Lives Matter’ Tweet

Sacramento Kings TV Announcer Resigns Over ‘All Lives Matter’ Tweet

LOS ANGELES — The Sacramento Kings announced on Tuesday that Grant Napear, their longtime television play-by-play broadcaster, had resigned, two days after tweeting “All Lives Matter” in an exchange with one of the team’s former players.

In addition, Bonneville International, which owns the Sacramento radio station at which Napear had co-hosted a sports show, announced that it had parted ways with him. Napear, the company said, had made comments that it deemed “particularly insensitive” as protests against police brutality continued to sweep across the country.

Napear, 60, had found himself embroiled in controversy on Sunday after he had an exchange on Twitter with DeMarcus Cousins, a former All-Star center for the Kings. Cousins asked Napear what he thought of the Black Lives Matter movement. Napear responded, in part: “ALL LIVES MATTER. … EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!”

The phrase “All Lives Matter” has often been used dismissively against people noting the specific prejudices faced by black Americans.

Matt Barnes and Chris Webber, two other former players for the Kings, were among those who sharply rebuked Napear.

“If it came across as dumb I apologize,” Napear said in another tweet on Sunday night. “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, who was often critical of Cousins during his time with the team, also told the Sacramento Bee in an interview this week that he was “not as educated on B.L.M. as I thought I was.” He added, “I had no idea that when I said, ‘All Lives Matter,’ that it was counter to what B.L.M. was trying to get across.”

The fallout, though, was swift. Bonneville International said Napear’s comments “do not reflect the views or values” of the company. The company also referenced George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man whose death last week after he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer had ignited recent protests.

“In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death and the events of the last several days,” the company said, “it is crucial that we communicate the tremendous respect that we have for the black community and any other groups or individuals who have cause to feel marginalized.”

Napear, via text message, declined to comment. The Kings thanked him for his contributions over 32 years, and Napear, in a statement through the team, said, he’d “always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart.”

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