Following his team’s victory in Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri allegedly assaulted a police officer.
Based on video evidence from the incident, the Alameda County Sherriff’s Office is now following up on possible charges against the Raptors president.
Video shows the aftermath of Game 6 incident
Allegedly, Ujiri was trying to get onto the court after Game 6 had ended so he could celebrate with his team on their first-ever championship. However, a Sherrif deputy working security at the game wasn’t allowing him on the court.
A video on Twitter below (via NBC Bay Area) shows what went down in the aftermath as another man steps in front of Majiri and is heard saying “No, no, no, no” repeatedly.
He eventually moves Majiri away from the deputy and towards the court. The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry comes over and grabs Majiri by the hand for a handshake and hug.
From there, Majiri goes onto the court.
#BREAKING: Sheriff's deputy reportedly pushed and struck in the face by a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive after Game 6 of the #NBAFinals at Oracle Arena, @ACSOSheriffs says. https://t.co/fobdK9iWEq pic.twitter.com/a4X0IysY5Z
— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) June 14, 2019
A report via NBC Bay Area says that the sheriff’s deputy was “allegedly pushed and struck in the face” by Ujiri at Oracle Arena.
The deputy was said to have denied Ujiri having access to the court based on not having “proper credentials.”
Ujiri allegedly pushed the deputy resulting in striking his face. The deputy pushed back. Later reports indicate Ujiri shoved the officer twice and reportedly struck him.
After that, another man intervened to plead with police to back off, before Ujiri was finally able to get onto the court with his team.
Ultimately things didn’t escalate beyond that as Masai Ujiri made it onto the court, but now the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is pursuing a possible battery charge.
BREAKING: The Alameda County Sheriff’s office is pursuing a misdemeanor charge against Raptors GM Masai Ujiri for simple battery of a police officer for last night’s postgame incident, a spokesman for the department told @USATODAY. Story posting shortly.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 14, 2019
As for why there wasn’t a formal arrest made on the court, a spokesperson for the Sherriff’s Office told USA Today:
“We decided to take the high road in light of their victory but will submit a report for complaint. We’ve got two countries involved in this. It’s not something we wanted to have happen. It didn’t have to go this route.”
The Toronto Raptors released a statement indicating they are cooperating with the police on the matter.
“The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.”
Will Masai Ujiri be charged, prosecuted?
It seems that most journalists and analysts believe that the sides will talk things out here rather than taking it to full prosecution.
The reason being is that this would be an embarrassment to bring to court since the officer didn’t recognize Ujiri. However, stranger things have happened in sports and the legal system.
"What I don't understand is why they're escalating this. Talk it out, let it go and move on."
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 14, 2019
The Toronto Raptors captured their first-ever NBA Championship on Thursday night following a Game 6 victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Masai Ujiri, age 48, became Raptors general manager back in 2013. He’d go on to win NBA Executive of the Year that same year and now owns an NBA title in just over five years on the job.