A clip has surfaced from Saturday night’s NBA playoffs game between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors. Footage shows beloved rapper E-40 being ejected from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento after getting into a shouting match with white hecklers.
Reportedly, the video shows the Bay Area rhymer responding to a white woman and other white attendees who heckled him the entire game. Once E-40, née Earl Stevens, responded to the group of hecklers, a verbal altercation erupted.
In result, he was the only one removed from the arena by the Sacramento Kings’ security guards. Now that the clip has made its rounds on social media, players, fans and NBA reps are speaking out in his defense. See clip below.
Following the encounter, E-40 also released a lengthy statement citing “racial bias” and also detailing how the incident “humiliated” him.
“On Saturday night, I was subjected to disrespectful heckling over the course of the Warriors-King game in Sacramento,” the “Tell Me When To Go” rapper wrote. “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.”
He continued, “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.” See full statement below.
E-40, who is an avid court side basketball fan, consistently receives love from the players whenever he attends a game. He even joined the Warriors’ during their visit to the White House earlier this year in celebration of the 2022 NBA championship. In support, retired MVP Jalen Rose spoke out against the Sacramento Kings’ staff, declaring that they owe the 55-year-old an apology.
“I’m really disappointed in the fact that my brother E-40 Fonzarelli was ejected from the game,” Rose said in a video.
He then breaks down what happened at the game, including the hecklers harassing the rapper, E-40 trying to explain what’s going on to security, and then a Warriors’ security guard coming over to diffuse the situation and walk him out.
“I’ve known him for over 30 years and he don’t even move like that, he moves with integrity,” Rose spoke to E-40’s character. The sports analyst then explained how the players love Forty, to which in the clip, Warriors players Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II can be seen walking behind him during the game.
“These security officers in particular totally fumbled this scenario and mishandled it and overreacted,” he continued. “The Kings compounded by putting out a statement and basically saying he was standing up excessively. But they never gave him a warning for that.”
Anticipating an apology from the team, he ended with, “The Sacramento Kings should be issuing an apology to E-40 for escorting him from a game and not disciplining the other fan that was heckling him and making him leave a game where he knows how to comport himself.” See below.