Black NBA star DeMarcus Cousins denounces Chinese 'Year of the Monkey' promotion as racist Black NBA star DeMarcus Cousins denounces Chinese 'Year of the Monkey' promotion as racist The Sacramento Kings basketball team had to cancel giving away Lunar New Year shirts celebrating the Year of the Monkey on Monday after a player noted the shirts could be deemed offensive during Black History month. Bucks TV analyst Marques Johnson says he was called into a conversation player DeMarcus Cousins was having with the Kings operations team over the controversial shirt. '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,' said Johnson on his Facebook page. The Chinese Year of the Monkey begins on February 8 but the shirts were meant to be given away on February 1, the first day of Black History Month. Players and coaches were already wearing shirts celebrating Black History Month on that day, according to ESPN The staff rushed to remove all the shirts before the fans arrived at Sleep Train Arena, according to Bleacher Report.