The Barclays Center was forced to close its doors “briefly” Sunday afternoon, according to the franchise, after a group of vaccine mandate protestors broke through barricades and reached the front entrance of the arena an hour before tipoff.
Protestors had gathered outside of the Barclays Center before Brooklyn’s home season opener against the Charlotte Hornets chanting “No vaccine mandate. Stand with Kyrie.”
Some wore t-shirts and held signs saying “Stand With Kyrie” and “no more mandate.”
Protesters just broke through barricades to Barclay's Center, barricades thrown and security rushed to close the doors and people chanted "I'm with Kyrie" pic.twitter.com/IBx2qgUir0
— Scootercaster (@ScooterCasterNY) October 24, 2021
The scene outside Barclays Center where a group of protesters chant, “No vaccine mandate, Stand with Kyrie.” Several hold “Stand with Kyrie” signs. This is the Nets’ home opener. Kyrie Irving will be away from team until he complies with NYC vaccine mandate. pic.twitter.com/833DqYOLf7
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) October 24, 2021
Irving is ineligible to play in Nets’ home games due to New York City’s vaccination requirements that people have at least one dose of the vaccine to enter restaurants, gyms, and other large venues.
Instead of having Irving only eligible to play in away games, the Nets decided to pull him from the lineup until he was vaccinated and could fully participate.
An official number of protestors wasn’t available, but a large group was seen marching to the arena.
The Hornets defeated the Nets 111-95, led by Miles Bridges’ 32 points.
LaMelo Ball added 18 points, five assists, and five rebounds for Charlotte.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 38 points, while James Harden chipped in 15 points for the home team.
The 3-0 Hornets take on the Celtics tomorrow night, while the 1-2 Nets will try to get back to.500 against the Wizards.