Protesters could be seen on social media swarming Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where Irving’s Brooklyn Nets play their home games, chanting “Stand With Kyrie.”
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been criticized for taking a stand against coronavirus vaccine mandates. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jo Rose, who was at an anti-vaccine mandate rally in Times Square and said she will attend the demonstration for Irving, told Fox News they planned to start at Commodore Battery Park and march to the Barclays Center ahead of the opening game for the Nets. Irving is not eligible to play home games in Brooklyn because of a New York City mandate.
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 03: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 3, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
One of the organizers, John Matland, told Fox News he anticipates several thousand attendees.
Matland described the burgeoning movement as a “widely diverse group” united under the goal of stopping what they regard as an infringement on their personal liberties.
Nearly 1,000 people converged on Times Square last Saturday for a “Broadway Rally for Freedom” to protest the city’s draconian vaccine mandate.
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 16: Nearly 1,000 people gather at the Times Square and march on streets to protest vaccination mandate during "Freedom Rally" in New York City, United States on October 16, 2021. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Participants carried signs reading “No mandates … My Body, My Choice” and another demanding “equal rights for vaxxed” and “unvaxxed.”
In a statement to Fox News, a spokesperson for Barclays Center said that the scheduled game proceeded according to schedule despite the brief interruption from protesters.
“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,” the statement said. “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report