LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Sacramento Kings cancelled plans for a "Year of the Monkey" T-shirt giveaway to celebrate the Lunar New Year after centre DeMarcus Cousins voiced concerns of insensitivity, US media reported.
The National Basketball Association team had planned to give away the shirts, bearing the image of a purple monkey, before Monday's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
But they pulled the promotion after Cousins said it could be construed as offensive on the first day of Black History Month - when NBA players wear commemorative shirts.
"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."
The Kings went ahead with other Lunar New Year celebrations - including team introductions in Mandarin and a ribbon dance by the Kings Dancers.