U.S. sheriff deputy drops lawsuit against Raptors’ Masai Ujiri

By News Staff

A northern California sheriff’s deputy who filed a lawsuit against Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has dropped the court proceeding.

Deputy Alan Strickland alleged in a lawsuit filed one year ago this month that he suffered injuries “which caused and continue to cause great mental, physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering” after a shoving match with Ujiri.

The incident occurred June 13, after the Raptors won the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. Ujiri went onto the court to join his celebrating team, when Strickland stopped him because the Raptors executive didn’t provide the proper on-court credential, leading to a shoving match that was partially captured on video.

Several bystanders intervened and Ujiri got onto the court without displaying any credentials.

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.

Prosecutors decided in October 2019 not to press criminal charges against Ujiri.

“Masai has been completely vindicated, as we always knew he would be,” read a statement released by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “We are disappointed that he and his family have had to endure the past 18 months of worry and uncertainty, but for their sake we are pleased the legal process has come to an end.”

MLSE added Ujiri would be taking some time to “process the ordeal” before making any public statements.

Strickland and his wife were seeking US$75,000 in general damages, as well as other compensation including punitive damages, lost wages, current and future medical expenses and legal costs as part of their lawsuit. But according to MLSE, “the claims made against Masai and MLSE were dismissed entirely, free of any financial settlement.”

Ujiri called Strickland’s lawsuit “malicious,” and Warriors president Rick Welts apologized to the Raptors executive after video of the incident was widely circulated.

Alameda County Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Kelly said Strickland has since returned to work and has been assigned to administrative duties.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

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