Protesters swarmed Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Sunday in support of NBA superstar Kyrie Irving after the team barred him from playing due to his unvaccinated status.
Chanting “Stand with Kyrie,” the protesters marched through the streets on Sunday, waving American and Gadsden flags. As they approached the front doors, some protesters even clashed with security as they pushed down barriers, demanding entrance into the structure.
Protestors marching through Brooklyn to Barclays Center, chanting "Stand with Kyrie." Irving is ineligible for #Nets home games – and was essentially shelved by the team altogether – because he won't adhere to the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. #NBA https://t.co/yIQef6aFXU
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) October 24, 2021
Supporters of Kyrie Irving who are against vaccine mandates storm the doors of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. pic.twitter.com/aBA6YTWCCe
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) October 24, 2021
Footage from inside Barclays Center, where “Stand With Kyrie” protesters appear to be trying to get INSIDE the arena pic.twitter.com/JWLLCs1cm4
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 24, 2021
A spokesperson for Barclays Center later told Fox News that the scheduled home proceeded on time despite the brief interruption from protesters.
“Barclays Center briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protestors from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the arena,” the statement said. “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”
The march reportedly began in Commodore Battery Park and proceeded to Barclays Center ahead of the home game. Protester John Matland said he anticipated several thousand attendees, all from diverse backgrounds.
“Matland described the burgeoning movement as a ‘widely diverse group’ united under the goal of stopping what they regard as an infringement on their personal liberties,” noted Fox News. “Nearly 1,000 people converged on Times Square last Saturday for a ‘Broadway Rally for Freedom’ to protest the city’s draconian vaccine mandate.”
Due to Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated, having already recovered from the coronavirus (natural immunity), the New York Nets announced earlier this month that the star player would no longer play or practice with his team until he gets vaccinated.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Marks continued. “Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”
“In terms of idiots, he’s got to be the top idiot in the country right now,” Stern said. “Guy’s got a chance as a young man to make millions of dollars, all he’s got to do is get vaccinated, but he doesn’t want to get vaccinated.”