Grant Napear, the longtime announcer for the Sacramento Kings, resigned from his position for his "ALL LIVES MATTER" tweet over the weekend. He was responding to a question about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, and his answer didn't sit well with fans. Napear released a statement on Tuesday.
"I want to thank the fans for their overwhelming love and support," Napear said. "I will always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart." According to ESPN, Napear was answering a question from former Kings star DeMarcus Cousins, who asked Napear for his thoughts on Black Lives Matter. Napear responded "Hey!!!! How are you? Thought you forgot about me. Haven't heard from you in years. ALL LIVES MATTER...EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!" Cousins said he was not surprised by Napear's response, and it led to a ton of backlash. He later apologized for the statement he made, telling The Sacramento Bee "he is not as educated on BLM as I thought I was."
He also went to Twitter to apologize, saying he didn't mean for the statement to "come across as dumb." Along with no longer being the Kings announcer, Napear was also fired from Sports KHTK where he hosts a radio show with former Kings player Doug Christie. All this comes on the heels of the death of George Floyd, which has led to protests and riots across the country.
"The timing of Grant's tweet was particularly insensitive," Bonneville International, the media company that owns the station, said in a statement. "After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Grant." The Kings also released a statement about Napear. The team said" "Grant Napear has resigned from the Sacramento Kings. "We thank him for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best."
Napear, 60, was the Kings' play-by-play announcer for 32 years. Since becoming the announcer in 1988, Napear has seen plenty of tough seasons, but he also called games during a stretch where the team reached the playoffs eight consecutive seasons (1998-2006). In the 2001-02 season, the Kings finished first place in the Western Conference and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals in seven games. The team hasn't reached the postseason since 2006.