Grant Napear

Late last May, there was a lot of discussion around Grant Napear, a long-time host on Sacramento sports radio station KHTK and a long-time radio voice of the Kings. This came in the middle of Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. following police killings of George Floyd (which had happened less than a week earlier), Breonna Taylor, and others, and started with former Kings’ player DeMarcus Cousins (who had had previous exchanges with Napear) tweeting at Napear and asking him for his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter protests. Napear (seen above) responded with an “ALL LIVES MATTER,” a response that’s been used by others and drawn criticism (including, in Napear’s specific case, from former Kings’ player Andre Miller) for diminishing protesters’ concerns over treatment of Black people. That led to Napear getting fired from KHTK a few days later, and that’s now led to him suing in response almost a year and a half later. But before we get to the latest developments, it’s worth looking back at that original tweet:

That tweet led to massive waves of criticism for Napear, and it led to him resigning from his role with the Kings. But it also led to KHTK placing him on administrative leave and then firing him, with their owner Bonneville International putting out this statement then:

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 timing 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.

Since then, though, Napear has continued to stand by that original tweet. He did so in initial comments to Miller, he did so last October with a firm “”I’m not sorry for saying ‘all lives matter'” remark in an interview with Sacramento TV station Fox40, and he’s now doing so in court, filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against Bonneville International. Here’s more from the Fox 40 story on that (from Mark Demsky and Katelyn Stark):

The complaint alleges wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation in connection with Napear’s firing from his job at KHTK in June of 2020 following a contentious Twitter exchange. Napear was allowed to resign from his play-by-play job with the Kings on the same day.

The lawsuit is asking for damages, including lost and future wages and emotional distress.

…A representative with Bonneville International told FOX40 the company has no comment regarding the lawsuit.

That full lawsuit can be read here, via Fox40 on Scribd:

Grant Napear Complaint by FOX40 News

We’ll see where this lawsuit goes to.

[Fox 40]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.