Ujiri Innocent?

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Ujiri’s Team Releases Footage of Oakland Cop Pushing Ujiri Post Game 6

The Legal battle between Masai Ujiri and the Oakland Sheriff deputy remain ongoing, but the Toronto Raptors president of basketball operation appears to be close to proving innocence.

On Tuesday, Ujiri’s team provided new footage in a filed countersuit which clearly shows the deputy, Alan Strickland, initiating and aggressively pushing Ujiri back, preventing Masai from getting onto the court to celebrate his team’s championship victory. In the video, Strickland can be clearly heard saying “back the f— up” to Ujiri who was attempting to show the deputy his credentials.

“After being shoved and cursed at, Mr. Ujiri did not respond aggressively towards Mr. Strickland,” the suit says. “Instead, he calmly asked Mr. Strickland why he had pushed him, informed Mr. Strickland he was the Raptors’ President, and held up his all-access arena credential to show it to Mr. Strickland. Rather than trying to communicate with Mr. Ujiri, Mr. Strickland chose to dismiss Mr. Ujiri’s claim that he was the Raptors’ President and ignore the all-access credential Mr. Ujiri was trying to show him. Mr. Strickland then forcefully shoved Mr. Ujiri a second time.

“Only after being unjustifiably told to ‘back the f— up’ and shoved twice did Mr. Ujiri show any response and return a shove to Mr. Strickland’s chest. Mr. Ujiri’s defensive response was a reasonable and justified reaction to Mr. Strickland’s use of unnecessary and excessive force.”

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse commented on the video on Wednesday morning prior to the start of the Game 2 against the Brooklyn Nets.

“It probably ruins a night of tremendous celebration for Masai, with the actions of the officer,” said Nurse. “Many instances, people make accusations, assumptions, throw the guilty thing at lots of people … there’s a lot of just flat-out unkind behaviour towards people, when they don’t really know the truth. and I find it all really disheartening and disappointing, to be honest.”

While it now appears crystal clear that Ujiri was never in the wrong, it is tremendously unfortunate that such a magical moment was taken away from the architect of the first championship winning NBA team north of the border.

The Raptors capture their first NBA title in a Game 6 victory at The Oracle over the Golden State Warriors.

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