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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Ex-Kings announcer Grant Napear suing radio company over ‘all lives matter’ firing

Grant Napear Kings

Former Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear, who was fired last year after telling DeMarcus Cousins that “all lives matter,” is now suing the parent company of KHTK-AM 1140, which serves as the radio home of the Kings.

Napear is seeking in excess of “$75,000 in damages for wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation,” reports The Sacramento Bee.

“Over the course of a 26-year broadcasting career (on KHTK) Grant Napear became a prominent member of the media industry,” says the complaint filed by the Ruggles Law Firm of Fair Oaks in a document filed in the Eastern District of California.

“In 2017, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded Napear his second Emmy Award for his broadcasting of Sacramento Kings games. … Napear alleges he was terminated because he is a Caucasian man who published a phrase on social media that (Bonneville International) contends violated the company’s ad hoc (and unpublished) policy supporting Black Lives Matter.”

The tweet in question came amid tense protests and demonstrations in Sacramento following the police-involved death of George Floyd.

Cousins, who had a history with Napear, tweeted the announcer and asked his thoughts on “Black Live Matter,” a social movement that aims to call attention to perceived police brutality against the African American community. Napear responded with a tweet that included the phrase, “all lives matter,” which some view as the antithesis to “Black Lives Matter.”

Napear later apologized for his tweet and admitted it came across as “dumb.”

At the time of his firing, Napear told The Sacramento Bee that he was unaware the phrase “all lives matter” was sometimes used as an anti-BLM rallying cry. He insists he meant it in the literal context.

Napear’s lawyer, Matthew J. Ruggles, is seeking a jury trial in federal court.

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