In the fall-out of the release of the body cam footage detailing the incident between Raptors president Masai Ujiri and a sheriff deputy at the end of the NBA Finals last year, Ujiri yesterday released a statement – his first public comment on the issue since the footage was released.
Masai Ujiri's legal team has released this body camera footage of his encounter with a sheriff's deputy as he tried to walk onto the court at Oracle Arena after the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 19, 2020
The statement, which thanks many fans and people close to the situation for their ongoing support, makes a powerful comment on the state of race relations in the USA, and draws attention back to the ongoing social movements currently being executed and supported by the NBA as a broader organisation.
“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,” Ujiri begins.
“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.