Police are reportedly pursuing charges after Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and a deputy appeared to be involved in an altercation on the sidelines of Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., late Thursday in the wake of his team’s historic NBA championship win.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office says a Raptors executive struck a deputy while trying to make his way onto the court after the game, NBC Bay Area reports. The sheriff’s office and the Oakland Police Department are reportedly investigating the matter as a potential case of misdemeanour battery on an officer.
The deputy denied a Raptors executive access to the court because he didn’t have the proper credentials, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the San Francisco Bay Chronicle. He says the executive tried to push through and the deputy pushed him back, then the situation escalated and the executive reportedly struck the deputy in the face.
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Video circulating online shows Ujiri and a police officer being pulled apart. The video does not show the start of the exchange, but the two men appear to be reaching for each other just as the camera turns to them. Several individuals quickly step in to keep the two men apart as they continue to stare one another down.
“No! No! No!” one man can be heard saying as he stands in front of the police officer, blocking his way.
The incident appeared to have occurred just as family and friends of the players flooded onto the court to celebrate.
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Global News has reached out to the Raptors and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
Ujiri, 48, was hired as the Raptors’ general manager in 2013 after winning Executive of the Year with the Denver Nuggets. He was promoted to Raptors team president in 2016.
ESPN reported after the game that the Washington Wizards were preparing to offer Ujiri a lucrative contract in an attempt to lure him away from the Raptors later this summer.
The Raptors won their first NBA championship with a 114-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 on Thursday.