'Closet racist': NBA caller fired after 'all lives matter' furore

Grant Napear's response to a DeMarcus Cousins tweet sparked outrage. Pic: NBA/Getty

Longtime caller Grant Napear has quit his post at the Sacramento Kings after being fired from his radio gig in response to an inflammatory tweet.

Kings play-by-play man Napear resigned following conflict over an “all lives matter” tweet sent to DeMarcus Cousins.

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The Kings announced the news in a statement Tuesday.

“Grant Napear has resigned from the Sacramento Kings, the statement reads. “We thank him for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best.”

Napear was suspended from his radio show on Monday following a Twitter confrontation that involved Cousins and fellow former Kings Chris Webber and Matt Barnes.

Sports 1140 KHTK announced on Tuesday that Napear had been fired from his radio gig.

A storm of controversy erupted when Cousins asked Napear about his thoughts on the "Black Lives Matter" movement that supporters around the world have been rallying around, following the death of African-American man George Floyd by a white police officer.

Napear responded with an all-caps response declaring that “ALL LIVES MATTER.”

Cousins replied by saying: “Lol as expected” and it drew the attention of Webber and Barnes Barnes, the latter of whom referred to Napear as a “closet racist.”

“All Lives Matter” is a retort frequently used to shut down the concerns of black Americans advocating against police brutality, making Napear's comment deeply disturbing for many people.

Napear pleads ignorance to meaning of tweet

Napear, 60, had been the Kings play-by-play announcer since 1988.

He pleaded ignorance to the insensitivity of his statement in a Monday interview with Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Bretón.

“I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was,” Napear said.

“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. I’m 60 years old and I still have a lot to learn.”

Napear also issued a response on Twitter Sunday night.

According to the Bee, Napear had created a public stir before on issues of race when he argued that former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, can’t be racist since he hired black people.

With his track record considered, it appears that his statements defending himself were not enough to save his job.