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Anti-Vaxxers Gather at Brooklyn Nets’ Home Opener to Support Kyrie Irving

The saga of Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving has another turn as a group of anti-vax supporters protested and swarmed the Nets’ home opener.

According to NBC 4 New York, a few dozen fans who supported Irving’s choice to not get a COVID-19 vaccination shot in order to play home games in New York this NBA season gathered outside the Barclays Center on Sunday right before the game.

Stationed in the plaza area outside the arena, they chanted “Let Kyrie play! Let Kyrie play!” while holding up signs that read, “Stand with Kyrie.” Some protestors broke through barriers and made their way to the arena’s front entrance about an hour before the game’s official start.

Police said there were no arrests.

“Barclays Center briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protestors from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the arena. Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule,” Mandy Gutmann, a Barclays Center spokesperson, told CNN in a written statement.

Two weeks ago, NBA.com reported that the Nets’ All-Star guard will not participate, play, or practice with the Brooklyn Nets until he complied with New York State’s COVID-19 vaccination rules. That decision was announced via a statement by Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks.

Last month, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted that unvaccinated players in New York and San Francisco couldn’t enter the arenas of the Golden State Warriors (who play at the Chase Center in San Francisco), the New York Knicks (Madison Square Garden in New York) and the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving appeared on Instagram Live to talk about his reasoning regarding his vaccination status, saying he chooses “to be unvaccinated.” According to ESPN, Irving spoke out about the consequences associated with him not getting a coronavirus vaccination and how it’s about his life.

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