Demonstrators stormed a Barclay Center entrance before the Nets home opener over the team's refusal to let unvaccinated Kyrie Irving play.
Author:
Published: 2021-10-25 05:45 am
Unruly protest over Nets' not letting unvaccinated Kyrie Irving play
newyork.cbslocal.com

This article first appeared on CBS New York's website.

There was drama outside the site of the Brooklyn Nets home opener Sunday.

Protesters tried storming a Barclays Center entrance over the team's decision not to let star Kyrie Irving play because he won't get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Irving has said this isn't about being for or against vaccines, but "about being true to what feels good" for him.

Rally organizers said they were taking a stand against New York City's vaccine mandate.

Just before Sunday's 4 p.m. tipoff, barricades at Barclays Center entrances were removed.

A man dressed in red is seen on video summoning people to come in, and protesters using all their might try to break through a group of security guards who eventually get hold of them and close all the doors for a short time.

Ticketed guests already inside watched it all unfold.

The rally started hours before the game at a park about a mile away from Barclays.

It was organized by groups including Teachers for Choice as well as Rev. Kevin McCall and Black Lives Matter activist Hank Newsome, who marched to Barclays with signs.

Once there, McCall and Newsome got upset when they were told the DJ outside Barclays couldn't turn down the music for a few minutes -- and then dozens swarmed the plaza.

"Let Kyrie play!" some chanted.

The Nets have said Irving isn't allowed to play under the city's vaccine mandate, which requires at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to enter indoor venues.

Irving, a Montclair, New Jersey native, said recently, "I am staying grounded in what I believe in. It is not about being anti-vax or about being on one side or the other. It is just really about being true to what feels good for me."

He also said, "This has everything to do with what is going on in our world, and I am being grouped into something that is bigger than just the game of basketball."

"This is against the mandate. They're trying to take away our freedom," McCall said.

Fans had mixed reactions.

When asked if the incident killed the vibe for him, Erick Trejo, who was visiting from St. Louis, said, "Oh, it sure did because that was the only person I came to see."

"It's a shame that someone who is that good is not playing," added Gabriel Munk of the Long Island village of Cedarhurst.

"He's doing what he needs to do for himself and his family, so I'm with him 100%," added Curtis Hll, who was visiting from Buffalo.

"I trust science. I believe in science. I feel like he should do it, but, hey, you know, I'm not even going to say to each his own. I feel like he should do it," said Nicholas Bailey of Chicago.

"I mean, he definitely should be vaccinated because, I mean, if you're a star figure, it's probably a good idea to set a good example," city resident Stefanie Rippenbaum said.

Without Irving, the Nets lost to the Charlotte Hornets, 111-95.

Read Full Story

Gabby Petito Search: Timeline Of Road Trip With Fiancé Brian Laundrie, Notable Dates And Events

newyork.cbslocal.com - 2 months ago
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The search for Gabby Petito has apparently come to a tragic end. The FBI said they believe Petito’s body was found Sunday in Grand Teton National Park. The 22-year-old Blue Point, N.Y. native went missing after going on a
Read More

Exclusive: UPS Driver Jumps In To Help Save Teenage Robbery Victim In Chelsea

newyork.cbslocal.com - 6 months ago
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A teenager was left lying in a Manhattan street after being beaten up over his sneakers, and a UPS driver didn’t think twice before jumping in when he saw that teen was in trouble. The violent attack in Chelsea unfolded on May 14.
Read More

The Bond Of Sisterhood: Woman Donates Kidney To Ailing Sibling — And Later Carries Her Baby!

newyork.cbslocal.com - 7 months ago
MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Here’s an incredible story of sisterly love. First, a Long Island woman donated a kidney to her sister and then she carried her baby. It was an inspirational medical odyssey that shows dreams can come true. This motherhood
Read More

Market Strategist Warns ‘Pain Felt On Main Street Quite Distinct From What’s Reflected In Stock Market’

newyork.cbslocal.com - 1 year ago
(CBSNewYork) — Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and Wall Street is doing well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 28,514.76 on Wednesday afternoon, over 3,000 points above where it found itself at the end of February, the last full month
Read More