Raptors Team Exec Accused Of Assaulting Deputy At NBA Game
Oakland, CA – The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is pursuing a misdemeanor complaint against the general manager of the Toronto Raptors after the man assaulted a deputy who stopped him from walking onto the court after they won the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship (video below).
The altercation occurred just moments after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA championship game in Oakland on Thursday, USA Today reported.
Masai Ujiri, president of the Raptors, made a run for the court after his team won on June 13, but he wasn’t displaying the proper credentials to get onto the court.
NBA rules said anyone going onto the basketball court had to have a gold armband, USA Today.
It wasn’t known if Ujiri had an armband with him but video showed he was not wearing it or otherwise displaying it when he tried to get through the security line.
So a deputy stopped the team's executive from accessing the court where his team was celebrating, and it didn’t go over well, USA Today reported.
“We were told to strictly enforce the credentialing policy and not allow anyone onto the court without a credential, so our deputies were doing that,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Sergeant Ray Kelly said. “Our deputy contacted Mr. Masai Ujiri as he attempted to walk onto the court. He had no credential displayed, and our deputy asked for his credential. Mr. Ujiri didn’t produce them and pushed our deputy out of the way to gain access to the court.”
“At that point our deputy tried to stop him and pushed him backward and then Mr. Ujiri came back with a second shove, a more significant push that, with his forward momentum, his arm struck our deputy in the face,” Sgt. Kelly continued. “At that point our deputy pushed Mr. Ujiri away again and some NBA security people and others intervened and he ended up walking onto the court.”
The sergeant said that Ujiri also shouted obscenities at the deputy, The Washington Post reported.
NBC captured the aftermath of the incident on video, but police are now reviewing footage from bodycams worn by officers, the stadium’s surveillance video, and cellphone videos taken by fans and staff.
Sgt. Kelly said the police chose not to detain Ujiri during the championship celebration on national television because it would not have been in “anyone’s best interests,” according to USA Today.
The deputy complained of a sore jaw and was taken to the hospital for evaluation, The Washington Post reported.
The Raptors released a statement they were cooperating with police and would also investigate the incident themselves.
NBA Spokesman Mike Bass said that the NBA was talking with the Raptors and law enforcement to gather more information, The Washington Post reported.
Ujiri, 48, has been president of the Raptors for six seasons.
Watch video of the aftermath of the altercation below: