Bonneville International Corporation and KHTK announced today that Grant Napear has been fired effective immediately.
SACRAMENTO - We were saddened by the comments Grant Napear recently made on Twitter. While we appreciate Grant's positive contributions to KHTK over the years, his recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do not reflect the views or values of Bonneville International Corporation. The time of Grant's tweet was particularly insensitive. After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Grant.
Bonneville's purpose is to build up, connect, inform, and celebrate communities and families. In the wake of George Floyd's tragic death and the events of the last several days, 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. Bonneville remains committed to fostering calm and promoting human dignity in the face of unrest. We plead for all to work together for peace and mutual respect.
The Sacramento Kings have also announced that Napear has resigned as play-by-play announcer. Napear had served as the Kings play-by-play announcer since 1988.
From the Sacramento Kings:
“Grant Napear has resigned from the Sacramento Kings. We thank him for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best.”
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) June 2, 2020
On Sunday night, Napear tweeted "ALL LIVES MATTER" in response to former Kings player DeMarcus Cousins asking him about his take on Black Lives Matter in the wake of the ongoing protests following the murder of George Floyd. Napear went on to defend his tweet which only served to increase the backlash, and other former Kings such as Matt Barnes and Chris Webber also chimed in.
Napear said he would explain himself and apologize on his radio show on Monday afternoon. That opportunity never came as KHTK announced that Napear was put on administrative leave. Napear did however offer his apologies through a short interview with Marcos Breton in the Sacramento Bee. Both the Kings and NBC Sports California also declared that they would be reviewing the matter. As we learned today, Napear is now no longer employed by any of those organizations.
Napear did release the following statement following the announcement today:
From Grant Napear:
“I want to thank the fans for their overwhelming love and support. I will always remain a part of Kings nation in my heart.”
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) June 2, 2020
As a very public face of the franchise, his actions were at complete odds with how the organization has presented itself. The Kings have been especially vocal ever since 2018 when they themselves were at the center of protests following yet another death of a young black man at the hands of the police, Stephon Clark. The Kings have since partnered with Black Lives Matter Sacramento and Build Black to invest in and broaden educational opportunities for black young men and underserved members of the community. This was also not the first time Napear has been insensitive, although this is the first time he has felt consequences.