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Kings probe ‘racial bias’ claims after rapper E-40 ejected

Apr 16, 2023, 2:22 PM | Updated: 2:29 pm

FILE - E-40, middle, watches during an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and th...

FILE - E-40, middle, watches during an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers in San Francisco, Dec. 30, 2022. The Sacramento Kings are investigating allegations from the rapper E-40 that “racial bias” led to him being kicked out of his seat during a playoff game against the Golden State Warriors. E-40 said in a statement that he was heckled throughout the game Saturday, April 15, 2023, night and addressed one heckler "in an assertive but polite manner” before security guards came and ordered him to leave the arena. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings are investigating allegations from a Bay Area hip-hop star that “racial bias” led to him being kicked out of his seat during a playoff game against the Golden State Warriors.

The rapper E-40 said in a statement that he was heckled throughout the game Saturday night and addressed one heckler “in an assertive but polite manner” before security guards came and ordered him to leave the arena.

“Unfortunately, it was yet another reminder that — despite my success and accolades as a musician and entrepreneur — racial bias remains prevalent,” he said in a statement. “Security saw a disagreement between a Black man and a white woman and immediately assumed that I was at fault.”

The Kings said they are investigating the circumstances behind the ejection.

“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,” the team said in a statement.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that E-40, whose real name is Earl Stevens, was standing and blocking the view of fans behind him and was given a warning after several complaints. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because details of the situation weren’t released publicly.

The person said E-40 refused to comply and that security officials for the Warriors and Kings escorted him from his seat.

E-40 is a prominent Warriors fan and was even part of the delegation that visited the White House earlier this season.

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Kings probe ‘racial bias’ claims after rapper E-40 ejected