Authorities are claiming that #TorontoRaptors President Masai Ujiri pushed an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office deputy during Thursday night’s game when he wasn’t let on the court to celebrate his team’s first ever #NBAFinals win against the Golden State Warriors.
Now, he’s being investigated for misdemeanor battery of an officer, according to @kpixtv. No one has been arrested but the sheriff’s department plans to submit a complaint to the Raptors and local prosecutors, said Sgt. Ray Kelly.
A Raptors spokesperson told KPIX, “The incident is being looked at and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.”
Apparently, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office decided not to arrest Ujiri right there and then because they felt it was not in their best interests to arrest him on national television as his team celebrated winning the championship, according to Kelly.
“We were told by the NBA to strictly enforce credentialing and that no one should be allowed on the court without the proper credentials to make sure everyone is safe,” Kelly said.
How it went down according to Kelly, when the deputy tried to stop Ujiri from getting onto the court, he shoved the deputy and the deputy pushed him back.
Authorities described the incident as “a push that went upward and struck him [the deputy] in the face.”
The deputy wasn’t significantly injured but he complained of pain in his jaw, according to Kelly.
Ujiri eventually made his way onto the court to celebrate the big win with the help of Toronto guard Kyle Lowry.
Now the investigation will take its course.
Ujiri joined the Raptors in 2013. The confrontation between Ujiri and the deputy was the second incident at Oracle Arena during the NBA finals involving an executive with one of the teams. During Game 3 on June 5th, Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens shoved and swore at Toronto’s Kyle Lowry after Lowry dove into the courtside seats to save a loose ball.
As a result of that incident, the NBA and the Warriors announced that Stevens has been banned from attending any NBA game for a year and fined $500,000.
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