Raptors' Kyle Lowry Says Masai Ujiri Did Nothing Wrong in Police Bodycam Video

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

FILE - In this June 13, 2019, file photo, Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, center left, walks with his arm around guard Kyle Lowry after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office announced no criminal charges will be filed against Ujiri for an incident involving Ujiri and an Alameda County sheriff's deputy after Game 6 of the finals. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry offered his support for Masai Ujiri and said the team president did nothing wrong during his altercation with an Alameda County Sheriff's Office deputy following the 2019 NBA Finals. 

"It was extremely emotional to watch," Lowry said Friday. "It took away from the moment for Masai. ... Masai did nothing wrong. We're just down here and we're gonna continue to use our voice and our platform to shed light on the things that are wrong in our world and our country."


Kyle Lowry comments on the video footage involving team president Masai Ujiri and a sheriff's deputy during last year's NBA Finals. https://t.co/oeehzTvscv

Lowry also said it was a glaring example of why players are fighting for social justice and kneeling during the national anthem as a way of protesting police brutality and systemic racism.

His comments came after Ujiri issued a statement Thursday saying the incident happened because he is Black. The Raptors also issued a statement supporting their president:

Toronto Raptors @Raptors

A statement from our president Masai Ujiri. https://t.co/ykekTq53XM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears

Statement from Raptors on Masai Ujiri incident with police video. https://t.co/OnmLsKLfjF

Andrew Lopez of ESPN reported the team met on Tuesday to watch the newly released bodycam footage that depicted the deputy grabbing and shoving Ujiri while telling him to "back the f--k up." Ujiri was walking toward the court at Oracle Arena to celebrate his team's championship win over the Golden State Warriors.

The team president filed a countersuit against deputy Alan Strickland regarding the incident. The officer filed a lawsuit in February against Ujiri, the Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA alleging Ujiri hit him and claiming he "suffered injury to his head, body, health, strength, nervous system and person" and suffered "permanent disability" as a result.

Like Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell both said the altercation was an example of what players are fighting against when using their platforms, per Lopez.