Several individuals in the sports landscape have lost opportunities after statements they made regarding the George Floyd killing and the ensuing protests.
An incoming Marquette University athlete has lost her scholarship, while USC has cut ties with a booster and a Sacramento Kings’ announcer has been suspended. Each incident came to a head Monday, a week after Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
TMJ4, an NBC-affiliate in Milwaukee, reported Monday that Marquette had rescinded a prospective student’s offer of admission and athletics scholarship. The official Marquette University Twitter account made the decision public Monday afternoon, replying to a number of accounts calling for punishment over a Snapchat the women’s lacrosse recruit sent out.
The athlete, a 2020 high school graduate, posted on Snapchat that “some ppl think it’s ok to f***** kneel during the national anthem so it’s ok to kneel on someone’s head. come at me. y’all brainwashed. kind disgusting lowkey.”
Marquette’s Twitter account responded with “We have made the decision to rescind the incoming student’s offer of admission and athletics scholarship, effective immediately. We are called to build a nurturing, inclusive community where all people feel safe, supported, welcomed and celebrated.”
USC also cut ties with a member of its athletic family on Monday. According to the Los Angeles Times, the university revoked the season tickets and Trojan Athletic Fund membership of Marla Brown, a USC alum and current attorney.
Tweets from a now-deleted account attributed to Brown began to circulate over the weekend, with Brown saying that protestors should be shot.
First-year USC athletic director Mike Bohn addressed the incident on his Twitter account Monday, posting “Last night we were made aware of abhorrent and blatantly racist tweets from an individual who identified as a USC Football Booster. Following an immediate investigation into the matter, we informed the individual that their season ticket and Trojan Athletic Fund membership privileges have been revoked and their payments will be promptly returned. Their account has been flagged in our system to prevent future purchases. Thank you to the USC community for helping us identify this individual so that we could move swiftly to terminate our relationship. We stand in solidarity with the Black community.”
On Monday, Brown told the Times that she regretted sending the tweets and wished USC reached out to her.
“They have to do what they have to do,” Brown said. “They didn’t reach out to me before they did it. It’s their decision to make, I guess. I have not much control over it. I certainly would’ve talked to them if they reached out to me, but I didn’t have the opportunity.
“I did a really dumb, stupid thing. Other people are responsible for their own reactions to things, and I’m responsible for what I did. I caused this.”
At the professional level, The Sacramento Bee reported that KHTK radio host and Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear was placed on administrative leave for remarks made on Twitter. The suspension was announced by Sports 1140 KHTK program director Jason Ross at the start of Monday’s “The Grant Napear Show.” The Kings and NBC Sports California, which broadcasts Kings’ games, also released statements saying Napear’s comments don’t reflect their views and they are looking into the matter.
The comment came in a Twitter exchange between Napear and former King all-star DeMarcus Cousins, who have had issues with each other in the past. Cousins asked Napear what his take was on “Black Lives Matter,” to which Napear replied “Hey!!!! How are you? Thought you forgot about me. Haven’t heard from you in years. ALL LIVES MATTER…EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!”
Cousins said “Lol as expected,” while former Kings’ player Chris Webber called Napear a clown and added “Demarcus we know and have known who grant is. The team knows as well. I’ve told them many times. They’ve seen it. They know who he is.” Another former King, Matt Barnes, said “Would expect nothing less from a closet racists.”
Napear apologized for his comments to Bee columnist Marcos Breton on Monday morning, saying “I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was. 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 learn.”