Masai Ujiri Could Be Charged in Altercation After Raptors’ Title Win, Authorities Say


Masai Ujiri, the president of basketball operations and common supervisor of the Toronto Raptors, could also be charged with assault after an altercation with a California sheriff’s deputy late Thursday, shortly after his workforce received Game 6 of the N.B.A. finals, the authorities mentioned on Friday.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office mentioned that it will pursue misdemeanor assault costs in opposition to Mr. Ujiri, one of many N.B.A.’s most celebrated front-office executives.

The incident is alleged to have occurred at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., moments after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors to offer Canada its first N.B.A. championship.

Mr. Ujiri made his strategy to the court docket to hitch the celebrating workforce, however an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy stopped him as a result of he didn’t have the right credentials, mentioned Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace.

The deputy was not conscious that Mr. Ujiri was a high-ranking workforce government till after the altercation, Sergeant Kelly mentioned.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned that Mr. Ujiri tried to push the deputy out of the best way. After a number of shoves backwards and forwards, Mr. Ujiri struck the deputy’s face, based on Sergeant Kelly.

At that time, a number of others pulled Mr. Ujiri away from the deputy and onto the court docket.

Journalists posted videos that caught the end of the incident, showing a man pleading with deputies to allow Mr. Ujiri to pass.

Mr. Ujiri was not arrested at the arena. “Instead of creating a more significant incident at this international postgame event, we decided to take the high road and cease and desist,” Sergeant Kelly said.

“What we’re now doing is compiling witness statements and video body cam evidence to submit to the D.A. next week for review,” he added. “It’s up to the D.A. to file charges for misdemeanor assault on a police officer.”

Greg Wiener, a 61-year-old Warriors fan and season ticket holder, told The Associated Press that he witnessed the encounter and did not see Mr. Ujiri strike the deputy in the face. Mr. Wiener said the deputy did not ask for credentials before putting his hand on Mr. Ujiri’s chest and pushing him, at which point Mr. Ujiri shoved back before bystanders intervened, The A.P. reported.

Sergeant Kelly said that security had been heightened because it was the Warriors’ last game at Oracle Arena before the team moves to San Francisco.

“We were told by the N.B.A. and security officials to strictly enforce the credential policy,” Sergeant Kelly said.

The Raptors’ path to the championship was largely orchestrated by Mr. Ujiri, who is Nigerian and one of the few black general managers in a league dominated by black players but largely controlled by white team owners and front-office executives. Mr. Ujiri won the N.B.A.’s executive of the year award in 2013 when he was with the Denver Nuggets.

“We are in contact with the Raptors and local authorities and in the process of gathering more information,” Michael Bass, an N.B.A. spokesman, said on Friday.

The Raptors said in a statement that the team was cooperating with the authorities and also looking into the matter, The Associated Press reported. The Oakland Police Department said it was also investigating the matter.



Source link Nytimes.com

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