NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Anti-vaccine protesters rallied outside the Barclays Center Sunday in support of Kyrie Irving ahead of the team’s home opener against the Charlotte Hornets.
Several hundred protesters chanted “Let Kyrie play” and “Stand with Kyrie” and occasionally sparred with security at barricades outside the arena. Irving has been suspended by the team over his refusal to abide by New York City’s vaccine mandate to enter many indoor events, venues and businesses.
In clips posted to Twitter, Protesters could be seen pushing barricades into Barclays security ahead of the game’s 4 p.m. tip-off.
The protesters caused Barclays to briefly close its doors to entering fans, though ticketholders were eventually let inside.
The rally was organized by civil rights Leader Rev.Kevin McCall Black Lives Matter protester Hawk Newsome.
“We will be out...to support Kyrie Irving decision not to be forced into making a choice,” McCall said in a statement. “We will shut every game, every bridge, every tunnel, every Broadway Show down in this city until this mandate is canceled. This is a new level of divide and control.”
Fans outside the arena seem mixed on Irving’s situation, with some believing his has a right to decline vaccination while others feeling the team can institute its own rules for playings suiting up.
“You don’t go to a game and say, ‘Hey, I want eight points for a shot.’ It’s a game, you follow the rules — everybody follows the same rules. I don’t see why there should be a problem with that,” one fan said.