Lawsuits dropped in Ujiri 2019 NBA Finals shoving incident

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 11 2021 07:58 AM

NEW YORK - A California sheriff's deputy who sued Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri over a shoving match at the 2019 NBA Finals has dropped his lawsuit, according to a Raptors ownership statement Wednesday.

Alan Strickland, an Alameda County deputy, claimed mental, physical and emotional injuries worth $75,000 last February from a scuffle after he stopped Ujiri from joining the Raptors' post-game celebration in June 2019 because he lacked the proper credentials.

Ujiri, a 50-year-old executive born in England to a Nigerian family, filed a countersuit last August claiming excessive force was used against him. His suit was also dropped.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), the ownership group for the Raptors and NHL Toronto Maple Leafs among other clubs, announced the details in a statement posted on the NBA's website.

"Masai has been completely vindicated, as we always knew he would be," an MLSE spokesman said in a statement. "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 -- and especially pleased that the claims made against Masai and MLSE were dismissed entirely, free of any financial settlement.

"We continue to be deeply troubled by the fact that Masai was put in this position in the first place, and believe he should never have had to defend himself."

There was no comment from Ujiri but the statement said he would speak later about the situation.

"Masai is taking some time to process the ordeal, and intends to address it publicly at a later date."

The Raptors won the 2019 NBA crown in six games over the Golden State Warriors, taking the clincher in Oakland, California, in the Bay Area club's final game at Oracle Arena.

This season, the Raptors are 11-13, eighth in the Eastern Conference.

js/rcw

© Agence France-Presse

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