NBA Raptors President Masai Ujiri Declares His Fight For Equality Not a Legal One

Even though the NBA athlete community consists of approximately 74.3% African American and 81.7% of the community being of colour, racism still takes place. Ujiri, the president of the Raptors experienced racism first hand on June 13th, 2019. The president of a NBA championship winning team is still not being treated appropriately because of the color of his skin. Why is it that a sport mostly dominated by people of color, are still having to deal with racism? Why do individuals look at racism as a legal matter rather than basic human rights? 

Tweet of Ujiri’s statement released by Raptors

Ujiri found himself first involved in this racial incident just moments after the Raptors won their first NBA championship in 2019. Little did Ujiri know that celebrating would hit him with a $75,000 law suit with court side law enforcement officer Alan Strickland. 

Strickland had accused Ujiri of having both fists up while celebrating. The officer claimed Ujiri caused injury to his head, body, and nervous system. Other officers in the stands then backed up those allegations hoping to charge Ujiri with assault. The case lasted 14 months since the first confrontation. A 15 second clip  thenwas released from the officers body cam.  

The video provided clear evidence that what the officers claimed was nfalse. Ujiri was mocked by Strickland and shoved twice before Ujiri shoved back. Strickland dropped the case after 18 months of court, once evidence was presented in court. Ujiri recently spoken claiming his fight was not legal. The fight was how to prevent this happening to innocent people just for being Black. It has been studied racial issues in sport go further than the court. It impacts peoples real life, Ujiri being just one example. 

E.M 

Featured image: Moments after Strickland approached Ujiri 
(Source: Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports)

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