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Was Salah Mejri given racist slurs in the NBA?

Ariza, joined by several teammates, waited for Mejri outside the Mavs locker room for several minutes

Published: Updated:

Houston Rockets’ Trevor Ariza was waiting outside the Dallas locker room for Mavericks’ center Salah Mejri after a heated argument spurred between the two during an NBA game on Tuesday.

Security had to make sure the pair didn’t interact after an exchange during the game that led to Ariza’s first technical.

“It started when we tried to get a charge during the game… then he started insulting me and being racist, so I insulted him too but never talked about his kids or wife - I don’t even know if he has wife or kids!” Mejri exclusively told Al Arabiya English.

“Anyway, then he kept insulting me in front of the referee for 15 seconds so the referee finally decided to give him a technical foul. He kept talking to the ref and got another technical and eventually ejected from the game... I was not involved in the second tech,” he added

Ariza, joined by several teammates, waited outside the Mavs locker room for several minutes. Mavericks officials made sure Mejri did not exit where Ariza, security was waiting. Rockets head to the bus.

“There’s always several sides to every story. I would never insult an opponent’s family regardless of how much a player insulted me repeatedly like yesterday. Last night was a physical, intense game. We are professional athletes and role models to young basketball boys and girls,” the center tweeted after the game.

“I am committed to have mutual respect to every player on the court. Let’s play basketball!”

Dallas guard Wesley Matthews said, “It wasn’t even basketball...tempers, two in-state teams, we play each other four times, we’ve had battles in the past, so it is what it is. But we’ve got to be better than that. That was an opportunity for us to channel it into basketball and we didn’t do that.”

The Rockets beat the Mavericks 123-107.

(With AP)