Ujiri was emotional. He is intimately familiar with how…

Ujiri was emotional. He is intimately familiar with how it feels to be wronged by police just because you’re a Black man. The week prior, body cam footage from the 2019 NBA Finals had surfaced, showing a white police officer grabbing and shoving Masai as he tried to step on the court after his Raptors beat the Warriors for the championship. There it was, plain as day: Even a powerful Black man, the president of an NBA team, wasn’t safe from being brutalized by the police. Ujiri knew he had to show his players before they saw it elsewhere. “I cried when I showed the players my video,” he says. “And I cried when I got the video from the lawyer. And when my wife watched it [with me]… That was emotional, and I cried again.” In hindsight, Ujiri says he doesn’t regret returning to the bubble: “Honestly, Taylor, sports brings us all together. We have the ability to address these issues head-on and galvanize and hope for change and try to create that change. We have to be in that space, and the bubble was that space at that time.”

More on Masai Ujiri Case

Lawyers for Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri say a law enforcement officer's court motion should be denied, calling allegations about a confrontation between the two at the 2019 NBA Finals "a complete fabrication." Ujiri's legal team filed its response on Monday to Alameda County sheriff's deputy Alan Strickland's motion to the United States District Court in California, which came in the aftermath of the Raptors executive's counterclaim earlier this year.
On Monday, the attorney for Alameda County (California) deputy Alan Strickland moved to dismiss Ujiri's counter lawsuit, which was filed in August and contained potentially exculpatory police body camera footage showing the officer instigating the physical altercation on the Oracle Arena court in Oakland on June 13, 2019.
'After all, this was a high-profile sporting event, which entailed a risk of crimes ranging from vandalism to assaults on players (e.g., the 1993 fan's stabbing of tennis great Monica Seles), assaults on coaches (e.g., the 2002 assault of Royals Coach Tom Gamboa by two fans), player-fan brawls (the 2004 brawl involving numerous fans and players at the end of a Pistons-Pacers NBA game), and even mass murder or terrorism (e.g., the mass murder of Israeli athletes by terrorists at the Munich Olympics).'
Daniel Wallach: In a new court filing, Alan Strickland compares Masai Ujiri to the terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and to the fan who stabbed Monica Seles. He says Ujiri posed "the same threats" as these terrorists by ignoring commands to show his credentials.
The Alameda County (Calif.) sheriff’s deputy suing Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri for assault after Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals in Oakland accused the executive of exploiting current “pervasive anti-law enforcement prejudices” to paint himself as a victim when in fact he had broken the NBA’s own security rules, in a new court filing today. In August, Ujiri filed a countersuit against Alan Strickland, who was working as a security guard and not for the sheriff’s department that night when he physically prevented Ujiri from accessing the Oracle Arena court for the Raptors’ Finals trophy presentation. The countersuit included bodycam footage that appears to support Ujiri’s contention that Strickland shoved Ujiri twice.
But in Tuesday’s filing, Strickland wrote that Ujiri did not have the proper credential, and the NBA had previously warned security to be on the lookout for unauthorized persons trying to gain access to the court. “The body camera video which plaintiff produced on July 17, 2020 did not reveal any new information to Defendants,” Strickland wrote, arguing it only provided a new angle of what arena footage already showed. “In reality, Defendants brought this motion to take advantage of the now pervasive anti-law enforcement prejudices and to falsely allege racial animus and prejudicial bias is the reason for Plaintiff Alan Strickland’s conduct on the date of the incident.”
A countersuit filed by Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri includes new video footage that shows the San Francisco Bay Area police officer with whom he had an altercation in the moments after the Raptors won Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals was the aggressor. The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California.
Ujiri's countersuit, which includes the Raptors, the NBA and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment as plaintiffs, says that Strickland falsified their encounter and attempted to portray Ujiri as "the initial aggressor and an inherently violent individual." It goes on to call Strickland's account "a complete fabrication" that has been contradicted by video footage. In a statement released later Tuesday, the Raptors said the new video evidence proves Ujiri "was not an aggressor, but instead was the recipient of two very violent, unwarranted actions."
“Sadly, Mr. Strickland’s dishonest account of the encounter is a narrative that has become somewhat familiar: a law enforcement officer using their position, engages in unjustified violence against a peaceful individual, then lies about the encounter by characterizing the victim as the aggressor,” the court filing said. “To be sure, the great majority of law enforcement officers do not conduct themselves in this way. Mr. Strickland, however, has chosen dishonesty over integrity. Motivated by greed (and perhaps revenge), Mr. Strickland continues to lie about his encounter with Mr. Ujiri in an attempt to support his frivolous lawsuit.”
Attached to tonight’s filing are three declarations from Warriors fans who support Ujiri’s version of the incident. “I witnessed Deputy Strickland put out his arm and touch Mr. Ujiri,” wrote Greg Wiener. “I witnessed Mr. Ujiri then brush Deputy Strickland’s arm away. I witnessed Deputy Strickland then push Mr. Ujiri in the chest and Mr. Ujiri subsequently push Deputy Strickland in the chest with two hands. When Mr. Ujiri pushed Deputy Strickland, I saw that Mr. Ujiri’s hands landed squarely on Deputy Strickland’s chest. Deputy Strickland did not fall to the ground during the altercation. 4. After the altercation, Deputy Strickland resumed his post to my immediate left-hand side and did not appear to be injured.” In his counterclaim, Ujiri is seeking “nominal and punitive damages.”
Ujiri did have credentials out; he was seen on the video tucking his badge into his suit pocket. He was thrilled and he was trying to rush down to congratulate his victorious team. But Strickland tried to stop him, putting out his arm to block his path. Strickland is seen in the high-definition security video pushing Ujiri in the chest, as an onlooker grabs at the deputy's shoulder to calm him down. Strickland pushes him a second time.
The Alameda County sheriff's deputy who claims he was injured in a shoving match with a Toronto Raptors executive may have to repay the county $142,000. That's because the county wants Deputy Alan Strickland to return all of the money he's received so far in worker's compensation benefits if he prevails in his federal lawsuit against the Raptors, president Masai Ujiri, Maple Leaf Sports and the NBA. The exact amount that the county has paid out so far since the high-profile June 2019 shoving match is $142,984. As of four months ago, Strickland had not returned back to work.
The Alameda County sheriff's deputy who claims he was injured in a shoving match with a Toronto Raptors executive may have to repay the county $142,000. That's because the county wants Deputy Alan Strickland to return all of the money he's received so far in worker's compensation benefits if he prevails in his federal lawsuit against the Raptors, president Masai Ujiri, Maple Leaf Sports and the NBA. The exact amount that the county has paid out so far since the high-profile June 2019 shoving match is $142,984. As of four months ago, Strickland had not returned back to work.
Daniel Wallach: NEW: County of Alameda files a $142K lien against the police officer who sued Raptors president Masai Ujiri for assaulting him during last year’s NBA Finals celebration. County seeks offset for amounts paid to officer as workers comp benefits claimed from same incident.

https://twitter.com/wallachlegal/status/1278787538451337216?s=12
Masai Ujiri: I can’t write about this issue without acknowledging what happened to me last June. It’s been widely reported, but I’ll summarize it again. Our team had just won the NBA championship and I was rushing to get on the court to celebrate. I was stopped, physically stopped, by a police officer, and the confrontation turned nasty. There’s a lawsuit that’s still before the courts – he is suing me – so I can’t say too much. But I will say this: If it was another team president heading for the court – a white team president – would he have been stopped by that officer? I’ve wondered that. I recognize what happened in Oakland last June is very different from what happened in Minneapolis last Monday. My own experience only cost me a moment; Mr. Floyd’s experience cost him his life.
Years before he got into an altercation with a Toronto Raptors executive after the team beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals at Oracle Arena, an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested and convicted of insurance fraud. The revelations raise new questions about the deputy’s integrity, legal experts say, in a case that drew widespread attention and became a glaring distraction amid one of the Bay Area’s most high-profile recent moments in sports.
Years before he got into an altercation with a Toronto Raptors executive after the team beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals at Oracle Arena, an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested and convicted of insurance fraud. The revelations raise new questions about the deputy’s integrity, legal experts say, in a case that drew widespread attention and became a glaring distraction amid one of the Bay Area’s most high-profile recent moments in sports.
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says a lawsuit filed against him by a northern California sheriff’s deputy is “malicious.” Alan Strickland alleged in the lawsuit filed Friday in a northern California district court that he suffered injuries “which caused and continue to cause great mental, physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering” after a shoving match with Ujiri.
“It’s malicious in a way,” Ujiri said Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal. “To me it’s incredible that things play out like that. I think something incredible was taken away from me and I will never forget it.” “It is one of the things that drives me to win another championship because I want to be able to celebrate a championship the right way,” he added. “This thing will be settled. The truth will come out. The truth will come out of this.”
The Toronto Raptors just ripped Alan Strickland -- the cop who filed a lawsuit against Masai Ujiri -- telling TMZ Sports ... “We are disappointed but not at all surprised Mr. Strickland has elected to take this path."
"His claims are baseless and entirely without merit. They should and will be viewed appropriately for what they are." "The Toronto Raptors and Masai have jointly retained very able counsel who will be handling this matter on our behalf and consequently, we do not intend to make any further statement about it.”
The police officer who accused Raptors president Masai Ujiri of assaulting him in the moments after Toronto won his first NBA championship in Oakland is suing Ujiri for damages. In a federal lawsuit filed Friday in California, sheriff's deputy Alan Strickland says Ujiri hit him in the face and chest with both fists during the altercation near the court at Oracle Arena on June 13, 2019.
The Oakland Police Department has handed its investigation into Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri over to a district attorney, following a physical altercation last month between Mr. Ujiri and an unnamed sheriff’s deputy over access to the court following the NBA Finals. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley received the police report into the dispute this week, her office confirmed. The DA’s office has asked the police to conduct additional investigations, said spokeswoman Teresa Drenick, and has not yet made a decision on whether to charge Mr. Ujiri with any crime.
The Oakland Police Department has handed its investigation into Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri over to a district attorney, following a physical altercation last month between Mr. Ujiri and an unnamed sheriff’s deputy over access to the court following the NBA Finals. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley received the police report into the dispute this week, her office confirmed.
Adam Silver is vouching for Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri -- saying the guy is a good dude ... but the NBA commish tells TMZ Sports he's still investigating Ujiri like he would anyone else. Of course, Ujiri is facing some stiff allegations after shoving a cop after Game 6 of the NBA Finals ... with the officer's attorney saying his client suffered a concussion and a jaw injury in the altercation.
"I've known Masai Ujiri for a long time," Silver says ... "I know he's a very decent person. But, at the same time, we of course respect law enforcement that does a great job protecting our fans in the arena." "So, there's been an allegation here, so it's our job to look into the facts and make sure that everything's handled appropriately." Silver says he won't speculate on a possible punishment for Ujiri if he's found guilty of the allegations ... saying, "I don't want to prejudge it" before all the facts come in.
The Latest on an investigation into whether the president of the Toronto Raptors pushed and hit a sheriff's deputy in the face (all times local): 3:50 p.m. A California sheriff's spokesman says a deputy involved in an encounter with the president of the Toronto Raptors complained of pain in his jaw and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said Friday that Raptors President Masai Ujiri hit the deputy with his arm on the side of his face as Ujiri shoved him to try to get onto the court after the Raptors won the NBA championship on Thursday in Oakland. Kelly says Ujiri also shouted obscenities at the deputy. He says the incident started when Ujiri tried to walk past the deputy, who was checking credentials. Kelly says investigators are reviewing footage from body cameras worn by the deputy and other officers, the stadium's surveillance video and cellphone video.
Storyline: Masai Ujiri Case
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The Suns (7-4) are set to resume action Monday on the national holiday that celebrates the man who led the Civil Rights Movement that brought great change to America. The game takes on greater meaning for the Suns because they’re playing in Memphis (6-6), where King was assassinated April 4, 1968. “I just hope that it doesn’t just become something we do,” Suns coach Monty Williams said as the NBA has made a game on MLK Day in Memphis an annual occurrence. “I hope it continues to become a moment in time, a moment in the year where we really think about what Dr. King sacrificed so that a guy like me can be in this position, because that’s what I think about.”
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In what they all consider their most important project, Anthony, Paul and Wade launched the “Social Change Fund” to address racial inequality issues. They involve ending police brutality, establishing criminal justice reform, expanding voting access, improving education, health equity and economic investment as well as promoting change through education and the arts. The three have donated an unspecified amount. “The Social Change Fund is timely,” Anthony told USA TODAY Sports. “It was our time to step up to the plate, put our money where our mouth is and really go out there and make change.”
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