Bay Area rapper and Golden State Warriors fan E-40 was tossed from his front-row seat at Saturday's playoff game against the Sacramento Kings after an argument with another fan. The musician, whose real name is Earl Stevens, said it was a racially motivated decision by the home team's security.
Video showed E-40 visibly agitated as he talked to Kings security and was told to leave the game. The very beginning of the first clip seems to show who Stevens was arguing with before he makes his case to arena security. He kept talking to someone in the crowd as a Warriors staffer stepped in and guided him out:
E-40 has attended many Warriors and San Francisco Giants games without incident, and in general seems chill. He was in hostile territory for Game 1, though. In his statement, he said he was dealing with "disrespectful heckling" from the Sacramento crowd and responded to one fan "in an assertive but polite manner." E-40 said that the Kings' security wrongly believed that he started the heckling. Part of his statement, via The Athletic's Shams Charania:
On Saturday night, I was subjected to disrespectful heckling over the course of the Warriors-Kings 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 that I was at fault.
A few hours later, the Kings said they would open an investigation. ESPN's Marc J. Spears reported Sunday afternoon that arena security ejected E-40 because he "stood excessively thus blocking the view of fans behind him, refused to comply after a warning was given after many complaints and there was an effort by Kings & Warriors security to escort him out without further distraction," which was rather Shamsy in syntax but functioned as the setup for this all-timer of a tweet:
Isn't the point of going to a playoff game to "stand excessively"? In any case, the Warriors lost in Sacramento, 126-123.