Chris “Mad Dog” Russo said NBA announcer Grant Napear — who was fired from one job and resigned from another after his “All Lives Matter” tweet amid the George Floyd protests was met with backlash — is not a racist.
Russo — who has known Napear since “1965-66” — said others who know Napear in different periods of his life may have a different view, but the man he knows is not a racist.
“I have known Grant personally for 54 years,” Russo said on his “Mad Dog Sports Radio” show in a clip provided by the Funhouse Twitter account. “To say that Grant Napear is a racist is absurd. In my knowledge of him … Grant Napear, trust me when I say this, this is me, is anything but a racist.”
On Tuesday, Napear, a graduate of Syosset High School on Long Island, was fired by Sports 1140 KHTK in Sacramento and resigned as the Kings TV play-by-play announcer.
Napear, a graduate of Syosset High School on Long Island, tweeted “All Lives Matter…Every Single One!” on Sunday after former Kings star DeMarcus Cousins asked the 60-year-old for his view on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Napear on Monday issued an apology published by the Sacramento Bee.
“[I was] not as educated on BLM as I thought,” he said. “I had no idea that when I said ‘All Lives Matter’ that it was counter to what BLM is trying to get across.”
Many believe that people who use the phrase “All Lives Matter” are mocking the group, which began in 2013 as a movement against systematic racism and police brutality.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes after Floyd was suspected of spending a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin has been charged third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.