Video Shows Raptors President Masai Ujiri Was Shoved By Deputy At 2019 NBA Finals

Back in 2019, a once in a lifetime celebration was cut short after Toronto Raptors’ president Masai Ujiri got into a physical altercation during the 2019 NBA Finals. Although initial reports and lawsuits framed Ujiri as the aggressor in the incident, new details prove otherwise.

On June 13, 2019, after the Raptors secured the NBA championship over the Warriors at the Oracle Arena, Ujiri made his way through the crowd to join his team. As he tried to enter a restricted area, he was confronted by Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Strickland.

Months later, Strickland filed a federal lawsuit against Ujiri, the Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and the NBA, claiming the incident left him with a “permanent disability” after the team president hit him “in the face and chest with both fists.” Strickland claimed it all started after Uriji refused to present his credentials.

But now, more than a year after the incident, Ujiri’s legal team is responding.

In a 108-page counterclaim, which included an 11-second clip from Strickland’s bodycam footage, Ujiri’s legal team reveals that Strickland was “undeniably the initial aggressor” in the incident, violently shoving Ujiri twice as he attempted to show his credentials.

“There is, however, no objective evidence to support Mr. Strickland’s alleged injuries and video evidence, including footage from Mr. Strickland’s body camera, shows Mr. Strickland subjected Mr. Ujiri to an unprovoked and unnecessary use of excessive force,” the president’s lawyers wrote in the counterclaim.

Not only does the counterclaim contain video evidence but also three witness statements that support Ujiri’s story.

“We are mindful this remains before the courts, but we have always maintained that the claims made against Masai are baseless and entirely without merit,” the Raptors said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. “We believe this video evidence shows exactly that — Masai was not an aggressor, but instead was the recipient of two very violent, unwarranted actions. The events of that evening cast a pall over what should have been a night of celebration, and the year since.”

“While Masai has the full backing of Raptors and MLSE as he fights this injustice, we are aware that not all people have similar support and resources. This is a spurious legal action that MLSE, the NBA, and especially Masai should not be facing.”

No charges were filed against Ujiri in the incident, but it remains unclear if Strickland will face any consequences.

Masai Ujiri
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About MsJennyb

Jen is a Writer and Content Curator for Baller Alert, who writes under the alias “MsJennyb.” In this role, Jen develops and contributes relevant special-themed content to attract readers. Before joining the Entertainment Industry via Baller Alert, Jen spent one year as a Freelance Writer and two years as a Human Resources assistant in a corporate office. Jen has a degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University with a concentration in Africana Studies.

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