#NBA voice Grant Napear was unjustly fired over ‘All Lives Matter’ truth

NBA voice Grant Napear was unjustly fired over ‘All Lives Matter’ truth

These days you never know when you’re a goner. You never know if your career and deeds — good deeds, well-intended deeds and honest work — will be hijacked by fringe lunatics or the merely wishful to publicly paint you as what they want you to be, hope you are or read online that you definitely are.

Thus you become a racist, because that’s a quick, effective substitute for reasonable, civil dialogue and for dealing with certain clear, present and often unpopular truths.

So the easiest, safest way to protect your career is to pander to those with whom you disagree, ignore what you can’t miss or simply run away.

Grant Napear, 32 years the TV voice of the Sacramento Kings, is a goner this week, fired from his gig as a Sacramento sports talk host and “resigned” as the TV voice of Kings TV broadcast because he’s a racist. Perhaps. There’s no evidence. But a knee-jerk reaction from easily frightened bosses (see: Doug Adler, former ESPN tennis analyst) is all it takes.

Set up by a former King, DeMarcus Cousins, who Napear had criticized for chronic malfeasance in disservice to the Kings, Napear responded to Cousins’ tweeted question about the Black Lives Matter movement following the alleged murder of George Floyd beneath the knee of a Minneapolis cop with a suspect record.

Like Hilary Clinton and presumably millions before him, Napear was naïve to the new presumption that “All Lives Matter” is now considered by some to be a racist response to the BLM movement. Seriously.

I remain unfamiliar with the preferred, non-racist response. But until this week, All Lives Matter seemed a sensible, sensitive sentiment shared by right-minded people.

So when Napear responded to Cousins with, “All Lives Matter, Every Single One!!!,” it became a “Gotchya!” moment. See? He’s a racist! There’s the proof!

And instead of the exchange being ignored or Napear being defended by longtime employers, he was quickly charged, convicted and sentenced to lasting ignominy, sacrificed to a flimsy accusation based on a dubious interpretation of his on-cue response.

You can now find Napear’s permanent record on Wikipedia, fired after 32 years of calling an NBA team’s games because someone with little social credibility of his own claimed he’s a racist.

As long as Cousins is demanding answers, here’s a question frequently asked by the fair-minded, among them many who continue to have the liberal — lower-case — knocked out of them by irreconcilable truths:

Grant Napear
Doug Christie (l. to r.) and Grant NapearGrant Napear

When don’t black lives matter? Why do they only matter sometimes? Every day in urban America scores of young black men are slaughtered by young black men. Day after day, after week, after month, after year, the numbers are staggering.

Where are the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Newark, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Atlanta to demand justice for these slain?

Several months ago, after three young black men were gunned down in one day in Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka said hate for cops — 78 percent of Newark’s force is black or Hispanic — is a non-qualifier. The issue, he said, is that when cops investigate such murders, folks refuse to cooperate for fear of retaliation from gang members.

How does something reminiscent of Nazi Germany recriminations — we’ll go after your family — not attract the Black Lives Matter movement?

Falcons offensive lineman Kaleb McGary this week tweeted, “So in response to a sad and senseless death, people burn down the police stations and businesses of innocent people … those involved in that are no better than the cops they claim to hate.”

That rhymed with the laments of many black leaders who refuse to excuse or rationalize the conduct of looters and arsonists.

Yet, McGary, who is white, was forced to apologize for his insensitivity. Insensitivity to whom? Were looters thinking, “I’m doing this for you, Mr. Floyd!”?

Reader David Distefano has lived the past 33 years in Sacramento. He has never heard Napear utter a word that struck him as racist. He noted that the Kings’ NBC Sports regional station issued a statement that “Napear’s views don’t reflect the views of the network.”

Thus, concluded Distefano, “NBC Sports doesn’t believe that all lives matter?” Too late; Napear’s already history. Modern justice has been served.

MLB OK with letting admitted cheat own team

One hundred years ago, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis became MLB’s first commissioner after the 1919 World Series gambling fix. He was charged with restoring the public’s trust. Those who betrayed The Game’s integrity would suffer genuine, lasting professional consequences. Eight White Sox received lifetime banishment.

Yet Rob Manfred today seems quietly at ease as Alex Rodriguez, among the most disreputable players in MLB history, has resumed his purchase interests in the Mets, a franchise MLB should have seized when its owners twice demonstrated financial recklessness by throwing in with Ponzi schemers.

Manfred months ago should have told current Mets ownership that selling even 1 percent of the team to Rodriguez is out of the question, as he brought the game into further disrepute as a chronic drug cheat and liar.

The games in which he played — he hit 696 home runs — are no less suspect than fixed games, even if those games were fixed to enrich Rodriguez by hundreds of millions of dollars, money he now again proposes to be applied to an ownership deal with the Mets.

Why hasn’t Manfred by now made it clear that no franchise will be owned in any part by those who escalated MLB infamy? Why hasn’t Manfred declared Rodriguez disqualified? Can MLB no longer attract honest money? Or doesn’t it matter?

And the same media that demanded severe punishment for the Red Sox and Astros for cheating their way to recent World Series championships seem unmoved or delighted by Rodriguez’s renewed effort for at least partial ownership of the Mets.

Francesa fan base lifeless

Mike Francesa continues to conduct on-air séances to contact the newly dead, famous souls he claims to have known, and rather well, but saved such revelations for the day of their passing into the silent beyond.

Last week it was college basketball coach Eddie Sutton who Francesa, on the day Sutton died, revealed he so “often encountered.” Where? Sutton coached Creighton, Kentucky, Arkansas and Oklahoma State.

Mike Francesa
Mike FrancesaRobert Sabo

This week, he first revealed that “I knew Pat Dye pretty well” — upon the news that the 12-year Auburn football coach had died. How did Francesa come to know him pretty well? He didn’t say and Dye’s not talking.

Francesa’s sophistry is so great that he grew similarly close to Ken Stabler after his death. They remain in touch via Ouija Board.

Still, he may never surpass his 2017 first-time, post-mortem claim that in Mary Tyler Moore he lost “a huge fan of this show.”


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