Kings Pull ‘Year of the Monkey’ T-Shirts on First Day of Black History Month

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A culture clash led the Sacramento Kings to cancel a T-shirt giveaway.

During Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Kings were planning to celebrate Chinese New Year with a purple monkey T-shirt giveaway for the Year of the Monkey. 

Kings star player Demarcus Cousins said he found the shirts to be racially insensitive since Monday also marked the first day of Black History Month, according to ESPN.

DeMarcus voices his displeasure and to the Kings credit they pull the Monkey T Shirts… pic.twitter.com/bHSz4KVinh

— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) February 2, 2016

Some NBA players and coaches wear commemorative shirts for Black History Month as well.

Staff pulled the shirts from seats at Sleep Train Arena before fans arrived, ESPN reported.

“We all need a lesson in sensitivity,” Kings president Chris Granger said according to the Sacramento Bee. “In an effort to celebrate Chinese New Year, we had some concerns about the T-shirt giveaway, so we pulled them all before the doors opened. Certainly we don’t want to offend anybody, and we acted as soon as we heard the concern.”

NBA All-Star and former Bucks forward Marques Johnson tweeted in support of the decision.

“Good move Kings. Year of Monkey Tees on 1 st day of Black History Month not a good look. Thanks DeMarcus…” he tweeted.

Good move Kings. Year of Monkey Tees on 1 st day of Black History Month not a good look. Thanks DeMarcus… pic.twitter.com/wvqkdgdr7r

— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) February 2, 2016

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