Report: Police pursuing case against Masai Ujiri over Game 6 incident
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri was involved in an altercation with a security officer as he was trying to make his way onto the court at Oracle Arena following his team’s win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, and prosecutors do not intend to sweep the incident under the rug.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to USA Today on Friday that it is pursuing a misdemeanor complaint against Ujiri for battery of a police officer. Ujiri is accused of shoving an officer twice and hitting him in the face after he was stopped from coming onto the court to celebrate Toronto’s championship at Oracle Arena.
A video captured by NBC Bay Area appeared to show the end of the altercation:
#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
Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told USA Today that security staffers were told not to let anyone onto the court without proper credentials, and Ujiri did not have his showing.
“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,” Kelly said. “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.”
Kelly said the sheriff’s office decided to “take the high road” by not arresting Ujiri on national television, but it is clear they want Ujiri to be held accountable.
Ujiri, 48, joined the Raptors in 2013 and helped build them into a contender. His decisions to gamble by acquiring Kawhi Leonard, firing Dwane Casey, and adding Marc Gasol at the trade deadline culminated with the team winning the championship. He reportedly is being pursued by other teams, but he gave a strong hint on Thursday that he is not planning to go anywhere.