Anti-vaccine mandate protesters tried to storm Barclays Center before Nets game

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An anti-vaccine mandate rally was planned for in front of the Barclays Center Sunday, prior to the Brooklyn Nets home opener, done in support of Kyrie Irving.

That protest started peacefully, according to people on-site, but got out of hand when protestors — chanting “let Kyrie play” — stormed past barricades and tried to enter the Barclays Center, according to multiple witnesses on the scene and video evidence.

The Barclays Center was soon re-opened to fans with tickets, and none of the protestors were able to storm into the building.

Irving is not vaccinated and cannot play in home games in Brooklyn because there is a vaccine mandate in New York City for public indoor gatherings. The Nets chose to tell Irving they didn’t want a part-time player and he would not practice with the team or play in road games until he was “fully eligible.” Irving is losing his game checks for home games (although the union can appeal that decision by the team and league), which could cost him around $16 million if this situation lasts the entire season.

New York is not expected to rescind its vaccine mandate anytime soon, and it is expected to be in place through next spring and into the summer, meaning Irving would miss playoff games, too. Unless he gets vaccinated.