Rick Welts, Golden State Warriors’ president, tweeted a public apology Friday to his Toronto Raptors counterpart Masai Ujiri, who was assaulted by Oracle Arena cops during the NBA Finals.
"To my personal and professional friend Masai Ujiri," Welts tweeted. "I am heartbroken seeing the video of what should have been the happiest professional moment of your life. It's hard to watch and to know all that swirled around you in the aftermath."
To my personal and professional friend Masai Ujiri, I am heartbroken seeing the video of what should have been the happiest professional moment of your life. It’s hard to watch and to know all that swirled around you in the aftermath. (1/2)— Rick Welts (@RickWelts) August 21, 2020
Ujiri was filmed by a police body camera attempting to walk down to the hardwood at Oracle Arena in Oakland during the final moments of the deciding game of the 2019 finals between the Raptors and Warriors. He is seen attempting to pull out his credentials to show to any law enforcement officer on the court in order to celebrate his team’s first Finals victory when he was stopped and subsequently shoved twice by an officer twice, who yelled, "back the f**k up.” Ujiri is then seen shoving the officer back.
The cop, Alan Strickland, had previously claimed that Ujiri was the aggressor prior to the footage being on Tuesday (August 18) clearly proving the opposite.
"While we had no role in hiring or managing security at our old arena, it happened at a Warriors game and for that I apologize," Welts said in the statement. "You rose above it which doesn't surprise me or anyone who knows you."
Welts concluded by wishing Ujiri well during this year’s playoffs, which are being played in a bubble in Orlando due to the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the Raptors lead the Brooklyn Nets 3-0 in the first round after a 117-92 win on Friday.
"Now...go make some noise in the bubble!" Welts tweeted.
On Thursday, Ujiri issued a statement over the incident, noting he was targeted "because I am Black." He also thanked everyone for their support.
Photos: Mike Pont/WireImage and George Pimentel/Getty Images for Audi Innovation Series
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