Protesters protest at Barclays Center in support of Keri Irving
NEW YORK – A group of protesters gathered outside the Barclays Center waving flags and banners chanting “No Vaccine, I support Kerry” before the opening of the Brooklyn Nets home against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.
About 100 people stood in the plaza outside the plaza and on the street to block traffic on Flatbush Street, many of them showing their support for the Nets Point Guard decision, Keri Irving, from not receiving at least one vaccine to comply with the state of New York City to be able to play games at home.
The scene outside the Barclays Center where a group of protesters chanted “No Vaccine, Stand with Kerry.” Many of them carry “Stand with Kerry” signs. This is the Nets house opener. Kyrie Irving will stay off the team until he complies with the New York City vaccine mandate. pic.twitter.com/833DqYOLf7
– Om Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) October 24, 2021
On one occasion, some protesters pushed barricades and reached the main entrance to Barclays before being stopped by security. There was also a large police presence in front of Barclays.
A Barclays Center spokesperson said in a statement: “The Barclays Center closed its doors for a brief period today in order to clear protesters from the plaza’s main gates and to ensure guests can safely enter the plaza.” “Only guests with tickets were allowed into the building and the match went according to schedule.”
Irving hasn’t played in any of the Nets’ three matches yet after the organization decided his base was not a part-time player capable of playing only away matches. The Nets said they would welcome Irving once he fulfills the city’s mandate.
“My body is my choice,” some of the demonstrators chanted with loudspeakers and carried banners reading “I support Kerry.” The arena was not even half full at the start of the afternoon game and there were rows of fans outside the building.
During an Instagram Live session, Irving explained his decision to remain unvaccinated for nearly two weeks.
“I chose not to vaccinate, and that was my choice, and I ask everyone to respect only that choice,” Irving said. “I’m going to continue to stay fit, get ready to play, get ready to go out with my teammates and be a part of all of this. This isn’t a political issue; this isn’t about the NBA, this isn’t about any organization. It’s about my life and what I choose to do” .