Anti-vaccine protestors swarmed the Barclays Center in New York City in support of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s refusal to be vaccinated, NBC affiliate WNBC reported.
Videos surfaced on social media Sunday showing protesters chanting “Stand With Kyrie” and “No vaccination.”
Other videos showed dozens of protesters pushing past barricades around the arena, with the crowd making a push for the doors as security personnel tried to secure the area.
“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,” a Barclays Center spokesperson told The Hill in a statement. “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”
The New York Police Department said it had no updates on the incident.
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
Building in lockdown. They are not letting any more fans in. I just practically gave up my first born to get in media door. pic.twitter.com/v8TsiQIA29
– Barbara Barker (@meanbarb) October 24, 2021
The rally began at 2 p.m., two hours before the Nets scheduled contest against the Charlotte Hornets, according to the NBC affiliate.
It comes as Irving has become the most prominent face of COVID-19 vaccine resistance in professional sports.
The Nets suspended Irving earlier this month until he’s fully vaccinated against the virus.
Irving has said his refusal to get vaccinated is in solidarity with people who are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates.
“I’m standing with all those that believe what is right. Everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what’s best for themselves. Seeing the way this is dividing our world up, it’s sad to see. People are losing jobs to mandates,” Irving said on Instagram Live.Internet Explorer Channel Network