De'Aaron Fox Apr 15, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter during game one of the 2023 NBA playoffs at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s NBA Playoffs contest between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors was a fantastic game, but unfortunately, it was overshadowed by some controversy as Bay Area rapper E-40, a noted Golden State Warriors fan, was removed from the arena for what he claims was “racial bias.”

In a statement to NBA insider Sham Charania, E-40, whose real name is Early Stevens, explained his side of what happened.

“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.

“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.

“I’m truly grateful for my fans and supporters who have reached out to express their concern and disappointment regarding these disheartening circumstances and I hope those involved are held accountable for their behavior.”

The incident certainly caused some controversy in the sports world with plenty of people offering their reactions on social media.

We’ll have to see how this situation develops in the coming days.

[Shams Charania]