Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri issued a statement on Thursday in response to the recent release of body camera footage that confirms that he was accosted during the 2019 NBA Finals.
The incident, which involved a security officer physically stopping him from stepping on to the court, took place at the Oracle Arena in Oakland the night that his team won the NBA championship last year.
“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,” he said in the statement on Thursday.
Ujiri went on to explain that he had access to resources to help him secure justice because he is the president of an NBA team.
“So many of my brothers and sisters haven’t done, don’t have, and won’t have the same access to resources that assured my justice. And that’s why Black Lives Matter,” he continued.
In the video released on Wednesday, Alan Strickland is seen grabbing the executive by the jacket and shoving him, telling him to “back the f**k up.”
Ujiri is shown trying to show the man his all-access credential when Strickland shoves him. In the 6-minute video, the men exchange words and Strickland shoves him again, at which point, he shoves him back.
The video supports Ujiri’s previous claim that Strickland instigated the altercation. The release of the video was done as part of a countersuit against Strickland, who sued the exec claiming physical and emotional harm.
The Raptors have previously stated that the incident “cast a pall” over their celebration and the year that followed.
“That’s why it’s important for all of us to keep demanding justice,” Ujiri’s statement concluded. “Justice for George. Justice for Breonna. Justice for Elijah. Justice for 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.”
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