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Best Buddies apologizes for barring Globe photographer from charity event

Young defenders rushed Tom Brady at the 18th annual Best Buddies Challenge held at Harvard Stadium on Friday.Jay Connor for the Boston Globe

A day after a Boston Globe photographer was prohibited from attending a Best Buddies fund-raiser at Harvard Stadium featuring Tom Brady, a spokeswoman for the charity apologized.

“I’m sorry that it happened,” said Nicole Maddox, a rep for Best Buddies International, the nonprofit that helps people with intellectual disabilities. “It’s unfortunate that it happened. Tom Brady had nothing to do with it.”

She said the Globe was stiff-armed outside the stadium as a result of a “misunderstanding” related to credentialing. She said the ban was “absolutely not” redress for a recent Globe story detailing the financial arrangement between Brady and Best Buddies. (The April story by Bob Hohler revealed that the nonprofit has paid Brady’s charitable trust nearly $3 million since 2011.)


“It’s 100 percent not related,” Maddox said.

Friday, Brady was at Harvard Stadium to play in a flag football game benefiting Best Buddies. The all-in-good-fun game is the traditional kickoff for the Best Buddies Challenge, an annual fund-raiser that includes a 100-mile charity ride and walk benefiting Best Buddies International. (The ride and walk took place Saturday on the Cape.)

In past years, the Globe has been invited to attend the game and to photograph Brady tossing TD passes to some of his Patriots teammates and celebrity friends. Not this year. Friday, Globe photographer Matthew Lee showed up at Harvard Stadium and was told he did not have a credential and would not be allowed into the event. He was then ordered to “leave immediately” by a woman who refused to identify herself, and a security officer was summoned to escort him to his car.

“We’re very sorry it happened,” Maddox said.

An employee of Best Buddies International gathered security to remove a Boston Globe photographer from Harvard Stadium on Friday. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff