Raptors president Masai Ujiri accused of assaulting sheriff’s deputy in Oakland

Former NBA executive of the year then allegedly pushed a deputy out of the way to get on the court

Moments after the Raptors won their first NBA championship, team president Masai Ujiri allegedly assaulted a local police officer at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., the sheriff’s office said Friday.

A spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said Ujiri was making his way to the court to celebrate his team’s historic win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday when he was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy and asked for his credentials.

READ MORE: Go, Canada! Raptors beat Warriors 114-110 to win NBA title

“This deputy had no idea who (Ujiri) was,” Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a phone interview.

Ujiri didn’t have the credentials on him, Kelly said, adding that the former NBA executive of the year then allegedly pushed the deputy out of the way in an effort to get on the court.

“Our deputy pushed the man back and told him he couldn’t go onto the court,” Kelly alleged. “At that point, the gentleman pushed our deputy again, and during that push his arm struck our deputy in the jaw.”

He said at that point, NBA security intervened and Ujiri was able to get onto the court. A local television station, NBC Bay Area, shared video from the immediate aftermath of the alleged incident that appears to show another man separating the deputy from Ujiri, who is then led onto the court by Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.

Kelly said that rather than arrest Ujiri on international television, the department decided to take the “high road” and file a misdemeanour complaint to local prosecutors. He said the officer was not seriously injured in the alleged incident, but did complain of pain in his jaw.

Asked about the appearance of a well-known executive being held back from celebrating a historic win with the team he built, Kelly said optics were of no concern.

“There is a credentialling policy that the NBA has in place. Everybody from the top executives all the way down … know that you must wear credentials to get on the court,” he said.

“We would expect more from a team president.”

A spokeswoman for the Raptors said they were co-operating with the U.S. authorities and looked forward to resolving the situation. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet releases COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Part of the recovery plan involves deploying three district staff as COVID-19 Community Monitors

Tofino mayor urges “kindness” as tourism reopens

“Health and safety matters to everyone.”

Resorts in Tofino and Ucluelet prepare to reopen in June

“We need to get the tourist economy in our communities back up and running.”

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve plans limited reopening on June 4

The Park Reserve shut down on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pacific Rim Hospice Society gifting free wellness “check-ins” to all West Coast residents

“This pandemic has led to a lot of isolation and it’s helpful for anybody just to have a soundboard.”

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

Most Read