A protest against New York City's vaccine mandate spiraled out of control on Sunday (October 24) as a group of protesters gathered outside of the Barclays Center in support of Kyrie Irving, who is not allowed to play because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
While the NBA does not require players to be vaccinated, New York City has a mandate that requires everybody at indoor events to be vaccinated. That means that Irving is not allowed inside the Barclays Center, though he could still play on the road in cities that do not have a similar requirement.
The Nets decided that Irving will not play in any games with the team until he is vaccinated or New York City's mandate is lifted.
Before the Nets first home game of the season against the Charlotte Hornets, the protesters made their voices heard outside the arena, chanting "No vaccine mandate" and "Let Kyrie play!"
"We also know so much more than we knew 18 months ago about the virus," protester Curtis Orwell told WPIX. "We have therapeutics that have been tried and proven to great success. Unfortunately, those kinds of voices are being totally suppressed and censored."
About an hour before the tip-off, a small group of the protesters stormed the barriers and tried to force their way inside of the arena. There were no reports of injuries and the game was not delayed as a result.