Kyrie Irving has not yet played for the Brooklyn Nets this season because of a vaccine mandate in New York City that prevents unvaccinated players from participating in home games in New York. Irving technically could have played in Brooklyn’s first two games of the season, but the Nets chose not to play Irving at all rather than allow him to participate only in road games. On Sunday, though, the Nets returned home to Brooklyn to play their first home game of the season, and that has led to significant protesting outside of their home arena, the Barclays Center.
A number of protesters against the vaccine mandate gathered at the arena in downtown Brooklyn on Sunday. They chanted “let Kyrie play” while holding up signs that read “Stand with Kyrie” ahead of Brooklyn’s Sunday matinee matchup with the Charlotte Hornets.
The protests got aggressive as they progressed. At one point, protesters broke through the barricades set up by security, who had to rush to protect the doors. One protester even picked up and threw a barricade at a security officer: