Longtime Warriors fan and legendary rapper E-40 was apparently ejected from Sacramento's Golden 1 Center after the rapper spoke back to a fan who was shouting at him on Saturday night's playoff game.
Tensions were already high during Game 1 of the NBA first-round Western Conference face-off between the neighboring teams Saturday night. E-40 reportedly got caught in the crosshairs of some noisy fans, as the Chronicle reported. E-40 released a statement Sunday morning describing the incident: He said that he was "subjected to disrespectful heckling" during the game and in response, "turned around and addressed one heckler in an assertive but polite manner."
Soon after, during the fourth quarter of the game, he added, security guards came up to him and escorted him out of the arena — a "jarring" experience that “absolutely humiliated" him.
Hip-hop artist E-40 says racial bias was the reason behind him being kicked out of Golden 1 Center midway through the fourth quarter of Golden State-Sacramento on Saturday night and he is requesting the Kings to investigate. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/15Lwl2lJZF— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 16, 2023
On social media, several videos of the incident depict the rapper engaged in a heated argument with two men wearing suits. Another man sporting a Warriors shirt and lanyard steps in and escorts E-40 off the court as fans wearing Kings gear jeer and wave. The footage also captures the rapper shouting something at the crowd as he departs, and Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala can be seen accompanying E-40 off the floor, according to the Chronicle.
E-40 has accused these security guards of racial bias. As he said in the statement, "Unfortunately, it was yet another reminder that - despite my success and accolades as a musician and entrepreneur - racial bias remains prevalent. Security saw a disagreement between a Black man and a white woman and immediately assumed that I was at fault."
Vallejo-born E-40 is a lifelong Dubs fan and is commonly in attendance on ground-level seats at the Warriors’ Chase Center stadium. Many Warriors fans made the short drive of about 90 miles up to Sacramento for Saturday's game. Barry Bonds, former Kings Vlade Divac, Bobby Jackson and Jason Williams, and Governor Gavin Newsom were all in attendance, per KPIX.
E-40 also thanked his fans for their support and called on the team to investigate the "appalling conduct that transpired."
Kings officials said in a statement to the Chronicle that: “The Sacramento Kings take these claims seriously and are investigating the facts and circumstances regarding the situation, as we do anytime an accusation like this is made.”
The game was eventually won by the Kings 126-123.
Feature image via Getty Images of E-40 performing during Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at the Oracle Arena on June 13, 2019 in Oakland, California.