Photo Credit: Alex Narvaez (Videographer) Complex CA, complex.com/ca
Masai Ujiri continues to cement his legacy both with the Toronto Raptors and the city of Toronto. With his championship mentality, the work Ujiri has done exemplifies passion and leadership that extends beyond the basketball court.
Already known to be an avid global activist for social justice, Masai has now delivered another new initiative to empower and bring people together.
On September 1st, Ujiri unveiled a new art installation outside of Toronto’s Union Station. The art piece was constructed by artists of Ramm Design, and is in collaboration with Ujiri’s greater Humanity Movement. The Humanity Movement was created in late 2020, and was inspired by the social injustices seen throughout the year from the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake, the BLM movement, and even Ujiri’s own experience with racial profiling during the end of Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Named “Humanity”, this art piece was made to represent what humanity means to Masai. The artwork consists of 35 words chosen by Ujiri, carved into an eight-foot high, hollowed, circular sculpture. At night, the Humanity art installation also utilizes lights inside its circular frame to project the words across the ground in a flowing pattern.
Masai gave an emotional speech when unveiling the art piece, displaying his love for the city and his passion towards making a difference in the world. Having an art piece that conveys a powerful message represents the culture of Toronto and its basketball team that embraces diversity among its people and players. Along with bringing people together through basketball, Masai and the Raptors are bringing people together through art to give a voice to broader issues beyond basketball.
The city of Toronto is renowned for its diversity and multiculturalism, and Ujiri wanted to convey that message through this empowering art piece. Ujiri has redefined the traditional NBA executive role by using his platform to speak out and advocate for social justice on a global level. He demonstrates why he is one of the best sport executives in the world, consistently pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo to make a difference. He continues to lead the Raptors organization as one of the prominent activists for social change within the NBA and the broader world of sports.
With his recently signed extension and new role as Vice Chairman of the Toronto Raptors organization, the city of Toronto is lucky to have Masai Ujiri around for many more years to come, and we cannot wait to see what further impact he will create.
For more information on the art piece and the Humanity movement, visit www.thatshumanity.org and their Instagram page @thatshumanity. Make sure to check out the art installation before October 31st on Front Street, outside of Union Station.