By Prince Hakeem
In the midst of the Toronto Raptors celebrating their first NBA Championship, President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri got into an altercation with an Alameda County Sheriff Deputy as he was trying to get onto the court. According to police as Masai was on his way onto the court to celebrate with the team, a deputy sheriff denied his access because he didn’t have his credentials on hand. That is when Masai allegedly shoved the sheriff, mushing him in his face as well.
Things were about to get escalated but thankfully Masai and the officer were separated. Kyle Lowry came over and escorted Masai onto the court, while the other officers restrained the offended sheriff. Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said that they declined to detain or arrest Masai so as to not make a spectacle on TV.
“We decided to take the high road in light of their victory but will submit a report for complaint,” Kelly said. “We’ve got two countries involved in this. It’s not something we wanted to have happen. It didn’t have to go this route.”
Video of the incident was obtained and circulated by Bay Area NBC. It showed both Masai and the deputy being held back from each other. It didn’t show any of the altercation described by reports and other witnesses.
After looking back at footage of the altercation, along with taking witness statements, the deputies office said that the officer involved is looking to charge Masai with misdemeanor battery.
The Raptors said in a statement to The Associated Press that the team is also looking into the altercation.
“The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities,” the team said. “We look forward to resolving the situation.”