Golden State Warriors fan and Bay Area hip-hop legend E-40 was kicked out of Saturday night's playoff game between the Warriors and Kings in Sacramento, California, and he said "racial bias" led to his dismissal.
Videos show the rapper, who was born Earl Stevens, talking to security at Golden 1 Center before leaving his courtside seats.
The rapper issued a statement telling his side of the events, explaining that after being "subjected to disrespectful heckling" throughout the game, in the fourth quarter he "turned around and addressed one heckler in an assertive but polite manner."
After that, E-40 said, "Kings security approached me, assumed 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."
Sources told Andscape's Marc J. Spears that Golden 1 Center security believed E-40 stood excessively, blocking the view of fans behind him, and refused to comply with a warning after many complaints. There was an effort by Kings and Warriors security, the sources said, to escort him out without further distraction.
However, a source close to E-40 told Spears that a warning was never given by Golden 1 security for standing excessively.
The Kings said Sunday that they are looking into the incident.
"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.
E-40 has courtside seats at Golden State's Chase Center next to the Warriors bench, and he even joined the team's contingent when it visited the White House this year to celebrate winning last season's NBA championship.
"It's unfortunate," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. "I love 40. He's been our biggest supporter for years. I hope they right that ship because he deserves to be there by our bench. In my time knowing him, he's always been respectful. He's always been considerate of those around him. Very weird to see, and I hope it's resolved."
The Warriors trail the Kings 1-0 in the first-round series with Game 2 Monday night in Sacramento.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.