Kings, E-40 release statement on ejection, call it a 'miscommunication'
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Rapper E-40 and the Sacramento Kings released a joint statement Wednesday calling the musician's ejection from Saturday's Warriors v. Kings game a ‘miscommunication.’
Several videos posted to social media on Saturday showed a visibly agitated E-40, whose real name is Earl Stevens, being led from the arena by security.
This came after a confrontation with another fan seated behind him. The rapper-turned-entrepreneur said racial bias was at play.
The Kings and E-40 have since had "a series of thoughtful and transparent" conversations.
"Contrary to speculation, Mr. Earl "E-40" Stevens did not stand excessively from his ticketed courtside seat; the outcome resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding between both parties," the statement read.
E-40, a longtime Warriors fan, said he was dealing with "disrespectful heckling" during the game and reportedly addressed her in an "assertive but polite manner."
The rapper accused the Kings' security of assuming he was at fault due to his race and removed him after arguing with them.
"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 was absolutely humiliated by the Kings’ security team…" E-40 said in a statement.
Several spoke out against E-40 being kicked out, including Warrior player Klay Thompson, saying he's always been respectful at games, considerate around others, and "deserves to be there by our bench." Bay Area rapper Mistah F.A.B. said E-40 was "globally humiliated" and treated "unjustly."
Former NBA player-turned-sports analyst Jalen Rose said the rapper deserved an apology.
The Kings said E-40 had previously attended Kings games at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento without incident and that they look forward to welcoming him back soon.
Game 3 of the Warriors' first-round match-up against the Kings is on Thursday at Oracle Area in San Francisco.
E-40 has not said if he plans on attending the game.
O. Gloria Okorie is a digital reporter for KTVU. Email O. Gloria at email@example.com or call her at 510-874-0175. Follow her on Twitter @ogloriaokorie.