Deputy 'Pushed, Struck In Face' By Raptors President; Online Response Turns Racial

Brenda Watkins
June 14, 2019

Authorities are looking into allegations that Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri was involved in an altercation with a sheriff's deputy after the Raptors won their first NBA title with a 114-110 victory over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. Law enforcement says Ujiri shoved and struck an officer in the face after he was stopped from joining the team on the court for the championship celebration.

"Our deputy pushed the man back and told him he couldn't go onto the court", Kelly alleged. Ujiri is accused of twice shoving an officer and striking him in the face after he was blocked from entering the court because he didn't display his game credential. Ujiri, they say, failed to show them the required credential.

"We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video", Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said.

Video of the aftermath of that incident was captured by NBC Bay Area, who originally reported the complaint against Ujiri. "He had a right to be there, but he didn't follow the credential policy".

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Ujiri, 48, is also in the hard position of needing to navigate this Wizards courtship as his franchise prepares to make its closing case to free agent Kawhi Leonard about staying with the Raptors on a long-term deal. The outlet notes, however, that National Basketball Association rules specify that "only personnel with specially designated gold armbands were allowed on the court after the conclusion of the game, and it's unclear if Ujiri was wearing one or had one in his possession". The Alameda County District Attorney's Office said it expected to look into the matter sometime next week.

"We would expect more from a team president".

Ujiri has always been an executive held in high esteem, prior to orchestrating the most successful Raptors team in franchise history, he helped lay the foundation for a formidable Denver Nuggets team.

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