First time All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins asked the management of the Sacramento Kings to pull out all Year of the Monkey T-Shirts out of the stadium and claims that it can offend some black Americans as the release of the shirts at timely released at the first day of Black History month.
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) February 2, 2016
The shirts purpose was to take a nod on the upcoming Chinese New Year and celebrate the year of the Monkey. The design as tweeted by James Ham had the caption “Happy Lunar New Year: Year of the Monkey 2016”.
The Kings were to face the Milwaukee Bucks that night and NBA analyst, Marques Johnson had more details on how Cousins reacted upon seeing the shirts.
“I walk into the building and DeMarcus Cousins calls me over to an animated discussion he’s having with Kings operations people. He [asks] me, ‘Olskool, what you think about this T-shirt? Told him a little insensitive on first day of Black History Month.’ They pulled the shirts.”
Chinese New Year officially starts on February 8, 2016 and the shirts are to be worn by players and coaches on the same day as the entire NBA celebrates the first day of Black History month.
The shirts were immediately pulled out as reported by Johnson through his tweet.
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
The Kings prevailed over the Bucks that night, 111-104 even if Cousins did not play because of a sprained ankle injury.