WATCH: E-40 Gets Kicked Out Of NBA Playoff Game; Claims 'Racial Bias'
By Jason Hall
April 16, 2023
Videos shared online show Bay Area hip-hop legend and Golden State Warriors fan E-40 getting kicked out of Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference playoff series between the Warriors and Sacramento Kings for what he claimed was "racial bias" on Saturday (April 15) night.
E-40, born Earl Stevens, was seen speaking with security before leaving his courtside seat at Golden 1 Center, which he explained took place after being "subjected to disrespectful heckling" during an incident involving a white, female Kings fan in attendance.
"On Saturday night, I was subjected to disrespectful heckling over the course of the Warriors-Kings game in Sacramento," Stevens said in an official statement obtained and shared by the Athletic's Shams Charania on Sunday (April 16). "During the fourth quarter, I finally turned around and addressed one heckler in an assertive but polite manner. Yet, shortly thereafter, Kings' security approached me, assumed that I instigated the encounter and proceeded to kick me out of the arena.
"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."
Stevens, who's attended numerous NBA games, specifically in support of the Warriors, said he's "always prided myself in my professionalism" and described the incident on Saturday night as "jarring."
"I was absolutely humiliated by the Kings' security team and I'm calling on the franchise to investigate the appalling conduct that transpired," he added.
The Kings later confirmed they had launched an ongoing investigation into the incident.
"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 team said in an official statement obtained and shared by Charania on Sunday.
The Kings defeated the Warriors, 126-123, to take a 1-0 series lead.