SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Controversial statements and the resulting backlash has exploded on social media over the Black Lives Matter movement.
Public figures nationwide and right here in Sacramento have been asked to resign or face losing their job over comments made about the movement. People in power are being asked to weigh in on BLM and some are missing the mark.
“When people wade into that public space with their personal opinions, it can backfire. It can be misinterpreted,” said Doug Elmets, a Public Relations expert based in Sacramento.
Former voice of the Sacramento Kings, Grant Napear, was asked about Black Lives Matter by former Kings star DeMarcus Cousins on Twitter and responded with “All Lives Matter.” The backlash was fast.
Napear resigned from the Kings and lost his job at the radio station.
Napear said via Twitter, “If it came across as dumb I apologize. That was not my intent.”
“Right now, there is such a heightened sense of sensitivity around so many issues,” Elmets said.
Elmets said the safe choice is to observe and reserve judgment.
In the NFL, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been widely criticized for his comment that he would never agree with anybody disrespecting the American flag. He apologized after fellow teammates and sports stars called him out, calling his comments “insensitive.”
“It’s best to have an authentic apology. Sometimes people do an immediate apology and it seems insensitive,” Elmets said.
Sacramento political consultant Steve Maviglio took heat for comments criticizing his tenant in Washington D.C. who gave shelter to dozens of protestors.
Maviglio apologized but is now being asked to resign as a member of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op. The organization said, “his views are his own and do not represent the board or the co-op.”
At a time when so many want to speak up, Elmets suggests considering taking a step back and thinking first.
“Best not to make a comment if you have a sense that it might pull a scab,” Elmets said.