Announcer Placed on Leave After Tweeting ‘All Lives Matter’ to NBA Player Demarcus Cousins
“All Lives Matter … Every Single One!” Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear wrote in response to NBA player Demarcus Cousins
Longtime Sacramento Kings announcer Grant Napear has been placed on administrative leave after tweeting "All Lives Matter" to NBA player Demarcus Cousins.
The movement, which also goes by the initials BLM, was founded in 2013 following the death of Trayvon Martin to help "intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities," their website explains. BLM has been at the forefront of nationwide activism following the March 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed when a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes during his arrest.
"All lives matter" has been used as a demeaning response to activists because it insinuates that by saying "black lives matter" that other lives do not. The "black lives matter" phrase is meant to highlight the injustices toward the black community in the United States, such as how they are killed at a much higher rate by police than white people despite accounting for less than 13 percent of the country's population.
In response to Napear's use of "All Lives Matter," 29-year-old Cousins replied, "Lol as expected."
Following his remarks, Napear issued an apology to the Sacramento Bee and claimed he did not know that the implication behind his response.
"I'm not as educated on BLM as I thought I was," he told the 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 was also placed on administrative leave by KHTK radio, according to Bee reporter Jason Anderson.
The Kings released a statement to James Ham of NBC that said Napear's 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," they said.
NBC Sports Bay Area issued its own statement and said they've been in communication with the Kings.
"Our company values and honors inclusion and equality," they said, according to Ham. "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."
Neither the Kings nor KHTK immediately responded to PEOPLE's requests for comment.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.