SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — Rapper E-40 was escorted out of the Golden 1 Center by security during the first playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night in an incident he referred to as “racial bias.”
In a video obtained by News 2’s sister station, KRON, the rapper, clad in a gold chain, diamond earrings and sunglasses, had both hands held behind his back at one point as he was leaving the arena. Fans clad in Kings colors smiled and waved as E-40 was escorted out. Some fans pulled out their phones and took videos of the chaos as boos can be heard from the crowd.
E-40 was reportedly standing during a significant portion of the game, which appeared to block some of the guests sitting behind him. Several people complained to arena officials; E-40 was warned, but the standing reportedly continued.
E-40 told KRON he was heckled in “disrespectful” ways throughout the game. During the fourth quarter, he turned around and “addressed” one heckler in an “assertive but polite manner,” he said.
Not long after, security guards told the rapper he needed to leave. In a statement to KRON, he said race played a role in the incident:
“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.
“I’ve attended countless NBA games throughout my lifetime and have always prided myself in my professionalism, so this experience has been jarring. I was absolutely humiliated by the Kings’ security team and I’m calling on the franchise to investigate the appalling conduct that transpired.
“I’m truly grateful for my fans and supporters who have reached out to express their concern and disappointment regarding these disheartening circumstances and I hope those involved are held accountable for their behavior.”
In a statement to News 2’s sister station, KTXL, the Kings said 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.”
KRON reached out to officials with the Golden 1 Center for comment on the incident but had not heard back at publication time. The Kings ultimately defeated the Warriors in the heated matchup, with a final score of 124-123.