Masai Ujiri is reportedly under police investigation after an altercation between the Toronto Raptors president and a sheriff’s deputy following the team’s Game 6 victory against the Golden State Warriors Thursday.
Ujiri allegedly pushed the officer and struck his face when the officer wouldn’t allow him on the Oracle Arena court to join the post-game celebrations because Ujiri didn’t have the proper credentials, NBC Bay Area reported.
“(The deputy) did not know who the man was and asked for the credential, and that’s when he tried to push past our deputy and our deputy pushed him back, and there was another push that kind of moved up and struck our deputy in the face,” a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office told the San Francisco Chronicle .
“At that point, several bystanders intervened and the executive did ultimately get back on to the court without displaying credentials.”
A video posted on Twitter doesn’t show the altercation, but what seemed to be aftermath.
#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 man is seen trying to hold back an officer who tries to rush Ujiri before another officer gets involved, nudging his partner to retreat. The man acting as a barrier between Ujiri and the deputy can be heard saying, “No, no, no, no.” Ujiri is walled behind a few people and slowly walks to the middle of the court where Kyle Lowry, the Raptors point guard, yanks him into the celebrations.
Deputies are calling the incident a misdemeanour battery on the officer.
It took security a few minutes to realize Ujiri was the franchise president. “It’s not like we were going to chase him down,” the police spokesperson said. “He had a right to be there, but he didn’t follow the credential policy.”
Another angle of the incident shows Ujiri saying something to the officer before being corralled and Lowry comes to the rescue, wrapping his arms around Ujiri and telling the president to ignore what just happened. “We’re over here,” Lowry says, referring to the team celebrating on the court.
Peach Lowry rescuing the man who traded his best friend wow pic.twitter.com/LO6tDtfXLx— PLAYOFF Mickstape (@MickstapeShow) June 14, 2019
The Raptors executive is not in custody, but officers are investigating the incident and plan to hand the case to the district attorney.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019