Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri, has stated that the incident that saw San Francisco Bay Area sheriff’s deputy with whom he had an altercation in the moments after the Raptors won Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals was because he is a black man, thus invoking the Floyd Grorge’s Black Lives Matter protest.
Ujiri, 50, said he was thankful so many people “expressed disappointment and concern” after seeing the video. He said the video demonstrates how horribly he was treated by law enforcement, and believes the incident occurred because Ujiri is Black.
“Thank you to everybody who expressed disappointment and concern regarding the video that was recently released. My family and I are deeply grateful for your care and consideration.
“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 organisation, for our players, for our city, four 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.
“What saddens me most about this ordeal is that the only reason why I am getting the justice I deserve in this moment is because of my success. Because I’m the President of an NBA team, I had access to resources that ensured I could demand and fight for my justice. So many of my brothers and sisters haven’t had, don’t have, and won’t have the same access to resources that assured my justice. And that’s why Black Lives Matter.