Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri accused of shoving an officer towards the end of Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
In the moments just after the Raptors won their first title against the Golden State Warriors, and started celebrating on the court, Ujiri was stopped by an officer.
The officer stopped him from coming on the court to celebrate with the team because he didn’t have the proper credentials. Kristofer Noceda, NBC Bay area social media editor, recorded the incident and put it on Twitter.
Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the NBA had asked that his officers be strict on credential policy, and that his officer was simply carrying out that directive.
“Our deputy contacted Mr. Masai Ujiri as he attempted to walk onto the court,” Kelly said according to USA Today. “He had no credential displayed, and our deputy asked for his credential. Mr. Ujiri didn’t produce them and pushed our deputy out of the way to gain access to the court.”
"At that point our deputy tried to stop him and pushed him backward and then Mr. Ujiri came back with a second shove, a more significant push that, with his forward momentum, his arm struck our deputy in the face. At that point our deputy pushed Mr. Ujiri away again and some NBA security people and others intervened and he ended up walking onto the court.”
Kelly told the officer to not pursue Ujiri because it wouldn’t be right to do that on national television when the Raptors were preparing for the postgame trophy ceremony.
He decided to submit a complaint and let the district attorney decide if charges will be brought against the Raptors president. Kelly also said that two countries are now involved in this, which makes it much more complicated.
This is a common scene at sports events, as team officials do not always carry credentials. Misunderstandings happen in the scrum. Nothing ever comes of them, and it’s unlikely that this will escalate beyond the complaint.