Rapper E-40 alleged racial bias following his ejection from a playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings on Saturday and called on the Kings to investigate the incident.
The ejection followed a verbal altercation between the rapper and another person attending the game. Video shows E-40, the Vallejo native whose name is Earl Stevens, being removed not by an arena security team member but by a man wearing credentials around his neck and a shirt with a Warriors logo on it.
In a statement released Sunday, E-40 said that he “addressed the heckler in an assertive but polite manner” before a Kings’ security team member told him to leave the game. E-40 said the security guard approached him shortly after the exchange and assumed that he had instigated it.
“Unfortunately, it was another reminder that—despite my success and accolades as a musician and entrepreneur—racial bias remains prevalent,” E-40 said in the statement. “Security saw a disagreement between a Black man and a white woman and immediately assumed that I was at fault.”
The Kings said in a statement to ESPN that they "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 Kings’ 126-123 victory over the Warriors was Sacramento's first playoff win in 17 years. Point guard De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 38 points for the Kings, while Malik Monk added 32 off the bench.