Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says he intends to fight for racial equality and for the many people of color who are falsely accused in incidents with police.
"I say it as humble as I can, maybe the privilege or the job that I have (is) to fight this," Ujiri said Wednesday on "Good Morning America."
"They are wrongly accused, there's no body cams, nobody sees what happens, and they are incarcerated, or they are accused, or they are charged. We have to fight for them."
Ujiri said Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Alan Strickland racially profiled him and wrongfully accused him of using excessive force following the Raptors' title-clinching win in the 2019 NBA Finals. Strickland tried to prevent the executive from joining his team on the court to celebrate the franchise's first championship and later said Ujiri failed to produce his credentials and injured the sheriff's deputy in an altercation.
Strickland sued Ujiri for more than $75,000 in damages before the latter ultimately countersued, stating Strickland's version of the event was "a complete fabrication." Bodycam footage released in August 2020 contradicted Strickland's account and showed the sheriff's deputy shoving Ujiri as he reached for his credentials. Both sides dropped their lawsuits earlier in February.
"As much as we say, 'Yeah, this happened to me,' there's worse that has happened to other people, right?" Ujiri added. "George Floyd. I lost a moment. People have lost their lives."