The Brooklyn Nets held their home opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday but not without experiencing some unexpected commotion first.
Before the afternoon tip-off at Barclays Center, a large group of people gathered outside of the arena to protest New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who is ineligible to play in home games due to the mandates, became a rallying cry for the group. They could be heard chanting, “Let Kyrie play.”
You can see video of the chaotic scene outside of the arena here but beware of foul language.
The protestors then began jumping barricades and pushing toward the front entrance. Barbara Barker of Newsday shared video from inside the arena.
Getting scary out here. Crowd of protesters just jumped barricades and pushing towards door. Chanting let Kyrie play. pic.twitter.com/PlSu5B8amV
— Barbara Barker (@meanbarb) October 24, 2021
Arena personnel eventually got the situation under control, and the game was able to proceed as scheduled.
The last that we heard of the Irving situation was from the seven-time All-Star himself. He took to Instagram Live to address his decision to remain unvaccinated as well as the speculation over his future. But it looks like Irving still has plenty of New Yorkers who are sympathetic to his cause.