Protesters supporting Kyrie Irving break past barricade outside Nets game

A group of protesters voicing anger that Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets while he refuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 held a demonstration outside Barclays Center before the Nets’ home opener Sunday.

Some of the demonstrators managed to break through barriers and reached the front entrance.

It’s the latest flashpoint in Irving’s well-documented refusal of the vaccine. He can’t play home games while unvaccinated due to a New York City mandate requiring workers and customers alike to have at least one dose of a COVID vaccine in order to enter many indoor spaces, including arenas and gyms.

The Nets decided to shelve Irving altogether until he takes the vaccine, even though he would be allowed to play in most of the team’s road games.

Kyrie Irving
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NBC New York and other reports estimated the entire group of demonstrators as a few dozen people. No injuries or arrests were reported.

“Barclays Center briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protesters from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the arena,” an arena spokesperson said in a statement to the New York Post. “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building, and the game proceeded according to schedule.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)