New York City’s Barclays Center was swarmed connected Sunday by demonstrators supporting Brooklyn Nets defender Kyrie Irving‘s determination not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, soon earlier the team’s location opener.
Chanting “Let Kyrie play!” and “Stand With Kyrie,” crowds gathered astatine the halfway successful protestation of the NBA team’s determination to prohibition Irving from playing until helium is afloat vaccinated against COVID-19, the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
A tiny radical adjacent broke done barriers and got each the mode to the beforehand entranceway of the building, forcing arena officials to concisely adjacent the doors portion fans were trying to get in.
— DJ Akademiks (@Akademiks) October 24, 2021
The Brooklyn Nets confirmed successful a connection earlier this period that Irving would not beryllium allowed to play with the squad until helium receives a COVID-19 vaccination. A New York mandate (pdf) requires nonrecreational athletes playing for a squad successful the metropolis to beryllium vaccinated successful bid to play oregon signifier successful nationalist venues, adjacent if the athletes themselves are not residents of New York City.
“Kyrie has made a idiosyncratic choice, and we respect his idiosyncratic close to choose,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said successful a connection astatine the time.
The Nets superstar during an Instagram Live post connected Oct. 13 asked the nationalist to respect his determination successful choosing not to get vaccinated, adding that helium is alert of the consequences of refusing to bash so.
“The fiscal consequences, I cognize I bash not privation to adjacent bash that,” Irving said. “But it is world that successful bid to beryllium successful New York City, successful bid to beryllium connected a team, I person to beryllium vaccinated. I chose to beryllium unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would inquire you each to conscionable respect that choice.”
Irving added that helium is “going to conscionable proceed to enactment successful shape” and “be acceptable to play” again with his teammates.
“This is not a governmental thing. This is not astir the NBA, not astir immoderate organization. This is astir my beingness and what I americium choosing to do,” helium added.
Protester Curtis Orwell said connected Sunday that helium and others were astatine the Barclays Center to protestation “bodily autonomy and sovereignty,” and the close to take what goes successful their bodies.
“We besides cognize truthful overmuch much than we knew 18 months agone astir the virus,” helium said. “We person therapeutics that person been tried and proven to large success. Unfortunately, those kinds of voices are being wholly suppressed and censored.”
A spokeswoman for the arena said that the halfway concisely closed its doors “in bid to wide protestors from the main doors connected the plaza and guarantee guests could safely participate the arena.”
“Only ticketed guests were capable to participate the gathering and the crippled proceeded according to schedule,” she added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning writer and presently a quality newsman astatine The Epoch Times. She holds a master's successful paper journalism from City, University of London.