Bay Area Rapper E-40 Gets Booted From Kings-Warriors Game
A loyal Golden State supporter, iconic rapper Earl Stevens, who is also known as E-40, was escorted out of the stadium by security during the Kings-Warriors Game on Saturday night. According to TMZ, the Bay Area rapper was sitting courtside on Saturday night in Sacramento's Golden 1 Center for Game 1 of the series but, somewhere around the 4th quarter, he appeared to have gotten into a heated verbal spat with a Kings fan who was sitting behind him.
CBS News reports that the prolific Vallejo-born rapper, Earl Stevens was among the star-studded crowd at the stadium, which included home run king Barry Bonds, former Kings Vlade Divac, Bobby Jackson, Jason Williams and even California governor Gavin Newsom. But things apparently got verbally ugly between the Kings fan and E-40 as the teams battled in the contest and eventually won by the Kings 126-123.
Stevens, who is a devout Warriors fan was seated in his usual spot near the Golden State bench. As per reports, the rapper E-40 was standing up a lot during the game which resulted in blocking the view of folks seated a row or two behind him, and in due time the spectators behind him started complaining. After being issued several warnings from Golden 1 Center staffers on hand, the security had to get involved when finally a full-blown scene erupted. During the altercation, he was confronted by Golden1 Center security personnel, and after some contentious moments, a Warriors security member stepped in and escorted Stevens to the tunnel, with Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala following them.
In an official statement released via Senior NBA Insider for The Athletic and Stadium, Shams Charania, E-40 alleged "racial bias" and claimed to have been targeted by heckling that grew more heated as the game unfolded.
He stated, "On Saturday night, I was subjected to disrespectful heckling over the course of the Kings-Warriors game in Sacramento. 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 I was at fault."
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
E-40 also revealed in his press statement that the culprit was a white woman whom he claims was heckling him throughout the game. He mentions that he finally turned around to address her directly, which then spurred security to jump in and only deal with him, not the lady.
The rapper also thanked his fans and supporters and requested the Kings organization to investigate the ejection, saying he was "absolutely humiliated." The Kings later issued a statement, "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."
E-40 is a celebrated hip-hop artist to emerge from the Bay Area and is credited with introducing "hyphy," a long-established style and subculture of East Bay hip-hop that grew out of his own "mobb music" in the '90s, with his Lil Jon-produced track My Ghetto Report Card in 2006. As far as the game was concerned, The Mercury News reports that the Kings beat the Warriors 126-123 in Game 1 on Saturday.