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Sheriff deputy accuses Toronto Raptors' Masai Ujiri of falsely claiming 'racial animus'

Last Updated Sep 2, 2020 at 11:17 am PDT

Lawyers representing the Alameda County sheriff deputy suing Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri for assault after Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals are accusing the executive for using race as a factor.

According to the Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan, deputy Alan Strickland wrote in a court filing on Tuesday that Ujiri did not show his credentials ahead of the altercation, and that the NBA wanted security to be extra vigilant.

As part of Ujiri’s counter suit, body cam footage of the incident was released that appears to support the executive’s claim that Strickland shoved him twice despite Ujiri flashing what looks to be a card attached to his body.

“The body camera video which plaintiff produced on July 17, 2020 did not reveal any new information to Defendants,” Strickland wrote, per the Athletic.

“In reality, Defendants brought this motion to take advantage of the now pervasive anti-law enforcement prejudices and to falsely allege racial animus and prejudicial bias is the reason for Plaintiff Alan Strickland’s conduct on the date of the incident.”

Ujiri released a statement just under two weeks ago, saying: “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.

“It was an exhilarating moment of achievement for our organization, for our players, for our city, for our country, and for me personally, given my long-tenured professional journey in the NBA. Yet, unfortunately, 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.

“And, there’s only one indisputable reason why that is the case – because I am Black.”

Ujiri’s counter suit came several months after Strickland sued him for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs alleging he suffered serious injuries that resulted in “great mental, physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering.”

In February, Strickland filed a claim to the court alleging Ujiri attacked him and did not display his credentials, leading to the now viral confrontation.