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‘Let Kyrie play’ protesters storm doors at NBA season opener

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Protests broke out at the Barclays Center in New York on Sunday in a show of support for Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving who is being punished for his decision to remain unvaccinated.

Prior to the NBA team’s home season opener against the Charlotte Hornets, a crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the venue where they displayed signs with messages critical of vaccine mandates and chanting “Let Kyrie play.”

Irving, who had suggested that he would not suit up for the team’s home games due to New York City’s vaccine mandate, was suspended until he submits to being jabbed, something that is unlikely considering that the perennial all star’s resistance is based on principle.

One group of protesters breached metal barriers as they pushed through to the front entrance of the arena as seen in videos.

Video footage of the protests was posted on Twitter.

One protester, who confronted fans entering the arena, likened the treatment of Irving to slavery, “Are you guys OK with Kyrie Irving not being able to play because he refuses to be a slave? Are you guys OK with being slaves of the system? Giving up your bodies to be lab rats just so you can go to a restaurant; just so you can go to a basketball game?” the Daily Mail reported.

Some “woke” NBA players have said that team owners are the equivalent of slave masters although they have not come to Irving’s defense showing the hypocrisy of all of the chest-thumping about social justice and their hollow rhetoric.

Nets GM Sean Marks announced Irving’s benching in a statement. “Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Marks said. “Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”

It is obvious that the NBA wants to make an example out of Irving to keep other players in line and on message about the vaccines, a top priority of the Biden administration.

Irving, who stands to lose millions and perhaps his career has emphasized that he is not against vaccines but rather wants to provide a “voice for the voiceless” of those who face having their livelihoods ripped away for not falling in line.

Some have suggested that Irving has already sacrificed far more than ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the surly media-created martyr figure who has been widely celebrated for his “courageous” kneeling during the national anthem.

The scene at the Barclays Center is yet another black eye for a league that has become increasingly unpopular for its embrace of the divisive Black Lives Matter movement as well as its reluctance to speak out against human rights abuses in China, the NBA’s largest market.

The Nets were thumped by the Hornets 111-95 and are clearly missing their best player.

Chris Donaldson


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