The Sacramento Kings launched an investigation following allegations by rapper E-40 that “racial bias” influenced their arena security’s decision to remove him from Game 1 of their series against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
“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 a statement, courtesy of Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Bay Area rapper, who is a noted Warriors fan, issued a statement earlier Sunday saying that he addressed a woman, who is white, over her “disrespectful heckling” directed at him. He said security then removed him from the Golden 1 Center and “absolutely humiliated” him during the encounter.
“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.”
Arena security ejected E-40 for repeatedly standing and blocking the view of fans behind him despite a warning, sources told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. However, the artist reportedly says security never issued a warning.
E-40, whose real name is Earl Stevens, was sitting courtside during the game. Multiple fan-recorded videos captured the moment he was ejected. He appears to disagree with security at first and then points to at least one fan who was sitting close by and says something in their direction before heading down the tunnel.
The 55-year-old frequently sits courtside at Warriors home games. He has not said whether he plans to attend Game 2 on Monday, again in Sacramento.
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