A group of nearly 100 anti-vaxxers protested outside of the Barclays Center in support of Kyrie Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated. On Sunday (Oct. 24), a large group of people contesting the COVID-19 mandate gathered around the home of the Brooklyn Nets and called for the 29-year-old basketball player’s return to the court.
“No vaccine mandate, stand with Kyrie…Let Kyrie play,” chanted the crowd, who donned shirts with the “Stand with Kyrie” slogan. At one point, individuals jumped over the barricades, prompting the Brooklyn venue to temporarily impose a lockdown.
“Nobody’s gonna hijack my voice. Nobody’s gonna take the power away from me to speak on these things,” he said of his choice. “Don’t believe that I’m retiring. Don’t believe that I’ma give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated. Don’t believe any of that shit, man. Really be aware of what’s being said… Pay attention to what’s going on in the real world.”
While the baller’s decision has stirred up much controversy, he’s been backed by protesters, including Broadway Rally for Freedom organizer John Matland, who explained that Sunday’s demonstration was intended to stop the “infringement” of “personal liberties.”
Chris Brown has also supported his friend’s decision. “THE REAL HERO!!!!” he wrote. “I stand with my brother. WHOEVER DONT LIKE IT …. Go live your damn life.. ITS HIS CHOICE AND A DAMN GOOD ONE. ALWAYS IN MY BROTHERS CORNER.”
See a video clip from the protest below.