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

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read