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14 June, 2019, 23:33
US law enforcement officials allege Raptors president Masai Ujiri assaulted a police officer at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., moments after the Toronto team won its first National Basketball Association championship, but an eye witness disputed the authorities' account of what happened.
A video from NBC Bay Area appears to show bystanders holding an Alameda County Sheriff's deputy back and Ujiri standing off to the side.
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.
"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", office spokesperson Sgt. 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. "Switch it up tho, say he's just some rando in a suit and gets into it with, or assaults, a player out there and then cop says 'oh I saw him but he said he was the team prez and had a nice suit on so I let him through.' Then where we at?"
Authorities claim that that when they were vetting individuals to see if they had credentials to go on the court post-game, the deputy "contacted Mr. Masai Ujiri as he attempted to walk onto the court".
In 2013, the Raptors pried Ujiri away from Colorado on a five-year, $15 million deal.
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. Kelly said Masai either didn't have the credentials or didn't show them.