Viral chokehold photograph after Atlantic 10 tournament ‘a misunderstanding of access’

At the end of Sunday’s Atlantic 10 men’s basketball championship game, a University of Dayton student photographer trained his camera on the throng of victorious St. Bonaventure players mobbing one another under one hoop.

Griffin Quinn was so focused on getting the perfect celebration photo that he didn’t even notice what else was happening until it popped into his frame.

There on his camera screen, against the backdrop of hugs, fist-pumps and high-fives, was a UD Arena security guard with an arm around the neck of a videographer as concerned St. Bonaventure players looked on in the background.

“I did a double take,” Quinn told Yahoo Sports. “It was just such a weird occurrence to happen in what was a celebratory moment.”

Quinn's photo of the incident has spread quickly since he posted it on social media Sunday afternoon, but the disturbing image only tells part of the story. What the striking photograph doesn't show is the security guard imploring the videographer to stay off the court multiple times, the videographer shrugging him off like a running back trying to elude a linebacker and the security guard giving chase as the videographer continues to try to capture up-close celebration footage.

The Buffalo News reported that the videographer is Nathan DeSutter, the digital media director for St. Bonaventure Athletics. DeSutter did not return an email from Yahoo Sports seeking confirmation.

Sources within the Atlantic 10 told Yahoo Sports on Monday that the incident arose from a misunderstanding. Security had been instructed to be extra vigilant about keeping fans and media off the court while the winning team celebrated to prevent potential COVID-19 issues.

Media members covering the game were warned to stay in their seats, but the videographer was a full-time St. Bonaventure employee and a member of the team’s traveling party. He had been regularly tested for COVID-19 alongside the players and coaches. He wore a Tier 1 credential granting him permission to be on the court.

“It was a misunderstanding of access between security and the Bonnes videographer,” a source within the Atlantic 10 told Yahoo Sports. “Security guards, especially in COVID times, are trained to keep media off the court, but this guy was allowed to be out there.”

Two videos of the incident have more than 250,000 views apiece. They show different snippets of the security guard chasing down the videographer, restraining him and escorting him off the floor into a tunnel.

In the aftermath, St. Bonaventure players and coaches came to the videographer’s rescue, running after the security guard as he takes the videographer away.

“The players on the team were like, ‘Yo, what’s going on? He works with us,’ Quinn said. “They were celebrating, but they noticed something was up. Members of the coaching staff went over and talked to the security guard and then ultimately the videographer was allowed back on the court.”

Quinn last saw the videographer wearing a hat and T-shirt commemorating St. Bonaventure’s 74-65 victory over VCU to claim the Atlantic 10 tournament title. The Bonnies claimed the league’s automatic NCAA tournament bid and will face LSU in the round of 64 later this week.

The response to Quinn’s picture has surprised the student photographer, but not as much as the incident itself.

“I was kind of shocked,” he said. “It was just such a heightened reaction to a miscommunication.”

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