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Golden State Warrior megafan and Bay Area hip-hop icon E-40 was escorted out of Saturday night’s playoff game between his hometown squad and the Sacramento Kings after a public incident of “racial bias,” according to the Vallejo, CA born emcee.
Video shows E-40, who was born Earl Stevens, talking to security at Golden 1 Center before leaving his courtside seats.
E-40 says he was “subjected to disrespectful heckling”
According to ESPN, the rapper issued a statement telling his side of the events, explaining that after being “subjected to disrespectful heckling” throughout the game, in the fourth quarter he “turned around and addressed one heckler in an assertive but polite manner.”
After that, E-40 said, “Kings security approached me, assumed I instigated the encounter and proceeded to kick me out of the arena.”
Sources told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears that Golden 1 Center security believed E-40 stood excessively, blocking the view of fans behind him, and refused to comply with a warning after many complaints.
There was an effort by Kings and Warriors security, the sources said, to escort him out without further distraction.
However, a source close to E-40 told Spears that a warning was never given by Golden 1 security for standing excessively.
E-40 has courtside seats at Golden State’s Chase Center next to the Warriors bench, and he even joined the team’s contingent when it visited the White House this year to celebrate winning last season’s NBA championship.
The Warriors trail the Kings 1-0 in the first-round series with Game 2 Monday night in Sacramento.
Warriors and NBA OG defend E-40
Once removed from his seat, he was followed by Warriors’ Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II into the arena tunnel.
After the game, Klay Thompson spoke of the kerfuffle, standing by E-40’s character amid the controversy just as ESPN analyst and NBA veteran Jalen Rose.
In a statement, the Kings said they would look into Stevens’ claims. “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.”