In his first public comments since the incident, Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri said that his altercation with a San Francisco sheriff’s deputy after his team won the NBA Finals last year happened because he is Black. The deputy, Alan Strickland, had sued Uriji in February, claiming that the team president had assaulted him. Ujiri then filed a countersuit involving the Raptors, the NBA, and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment as plaintiffs that claimed Strickland had falsified his account of the events.
New video released Tuesday shows Strickland telling Ujiri to “back the fuck up” while shoving him as he attempted to walk onto the court. “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,” Ujiri wrote in a statement. “And there's only one indisputable reason why that is the case—because I am Black.”