The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings began their northern California playoff battle Saturday night at Golden 1 Center in Sactown, and it surpassed the hype. They were the main event during a full day of opening-round postseason matchups, and the NBA certainly did right with its scheduling, saving its best for last. The young Kings held on to beat the Dubs 126-123. The action in this game was non-stop, spilling over into the crowd in attendance. Apparently, you can party, have fun, yell obscenities, and enjoy the game just as long as you don’t stand too much.
Bay Area hip-hop legend E-40 found this out the hard way when he was approached by arena security and subsequently escorted away from his courtside seats during the game. According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, the rapper was removed from the game for “standing excessively.” Yes, you read that correctly. The story is that E-40 was on his feet a little too much for the liking of some fans in attendance, so he was asked to vacate the seat he had no doubt paid a pretty penny to acquire.
E-40, real name Earl Stevens, released a statement Sunday morning on his account of the incident, and unsurprisingly his narrative was slightly different. Stevens claims his ejection was another case of racial bias, accurately noting that he was booted over something that generally isn’t against the rules at a sporting event. According to Stevens, he’d been heckled all game and finally turned around to confront the trolls behind him during the fourth quarter. Not long after that, Stevens, and Golden 1 security were face to face, and he was asked to leave. Apparently, the heckler was a white woman, and of course, 40 lost that battle no matter how tame it was in Sacramento.
Whatever the reason, we’ll likely find out more in the coming days as this series unfolds. This would’ve never happened in San Francisco at Chase Center and for standing during a game, of all reasons. If the racial aspect of the story is true, then it’s a bad look for Golden 1 Center’s security team. Either way, being kicked out of a game for standing when everyone in the arena is standing at different points during the game is ridiculous. Although, in that part of northern California, it wouldn’t be shocking if Stevens’ version of what happened is accurate.
This series is far from over, and with the ejection of a Warriors courtside fixture from opposing turf, the stakes have gone up — especially for the two competing fan bases.