2020 Playoffs: First Round | Raptors vs. Nets

Raptors' Masai Ujiri releases statement after video shows he was shoved by deputy

Team president says incident occurred 'because I am Black'

Official release

New video evidence showed a deputy shove Raptors president Masai Ujiri in the moments after Toronto wrapped up the 2019 NBA championship in Oakland, Calif. In body cam footage, Alameda, Calif., deputy Alan Strickland was seen shoving Ujiri twice as he attempted to join the team’s championship celebration.

The following is an official statement from Raptors team president Masai Ujiri:

Thank you to everybody who has expressed disappointment and concern regarding the video that was recently released. My family and I are deeply grateful for your care and consideration.

The video sadly demonstrates how horribly I was treated by a law enforcement officer last year in the midst of my team, the Toronto Raptors, winning its first world championship. It was an exhilarating moment of achievement for our organization, for our players, for our city, for our country, and for me personally, given my long-tenured professional journey in the NBA. Yet, unfortunately, I was reminded in that moment that despite all of my hard work and success, there are some people, including those who are supposed to protect us, who will always and only see me as something that is unworthy of respectful engagement. And, there’s only one indisputable reason why that is the case – because I am Black.

What saddens me most about this ordeal is that the only reason why I am getting the justice I deserve in this moment is because of my success. Because I’m the President of a NBA team, I had access to resources that ensured I could demand and fight for my justice. So many of my brothers and sisters haven’t had, don’t have, and won’t have the same access to resources that assured my justice. And that’s why Black Lives Matter.

And that’s why it’s important for all of us to keep demanding justice. Justice for George. Justice for Breonna. Justice for Elijah. Justice for far too many Black lives that mattered. And justice for Black people around the world, who need our voice and our compassion to save their lives.

Those are the ties that bind us.

With love and determination,

Masai Ujiri

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