Kyrie Irving's supporters flocked to the Barclays Center on Sunday in protest after the athlete was banned from participating in the Nets game due to his decision not to get vaccinated.

New York's vaccine mandate hinders Kyrie Irving from playing

According to reports, the NBA doesn't require their players to get vaccinated against COVID-19. However, since the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Charlotte Hornets took place in New York, Irving had to adhere to the state's local coronavirus regulations.

The Nets announced that Irving would not be playing or practicing with the team this season because of his decision not to get vaccinated. A spokesperson for the team said that they respect the athlete's decision.

"Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. 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," the spokesperson said via CNN.

On Sunday, Irving's supporters carried signages with the words "Stand with Kyrie" written on them. They also chanted "Let Kyrie play" outside the Barclays Center.

The massive number of protesters made it difficult for some guests with tickets to enter the stadium. As a result, security had to lock down the Barclays Center.

But despite the incident, the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Charlotte Hornets still started on time.

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Kyrie Irving did not lose supporters despite vaccine stance

Earlier this month, a fan of Irving said that he would not stop supporting the athlete even though their stance on the COVID-19 vaccine is different.

DeAndre Washington of New Jersey said that Irving could do whatever he wanted with regards to the vaccine. But he has personally been encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

"We know athletes can have influence. But I don't think his position on the vaccines will make anyone decide they don't want to take it because he lives in a different world from NBA fans," he said via NBC News.

However, Los Angeles-based psychologist Shaunda Boyd said that some fans may be affected by their idol's stance on the COVID-19 vaccine, especially when they are not yet fully decided on what they would do.

After all, the behaviors of celebrities carry an enormous amount of weight because of their social media presence and the platforms they use.

However, she said that it's important to remember that celebrities are people too, so they have the right to make their own life choices.

Kyrie Irving hopes the public will respect his decision

Irving previously said that he wants to be a voice for the voiceless that's why he decided to announce his stance on vaccine mandates.

According to the Washington Post, Irving is not also against the COVID-19 vaccine. He previously expressed his support for those who already received the jab.

But Irving has also shown sympathy to those who lost their jobs because they refused to get inoculated. At the end of the day, Irving said that not getting vaccinated is his choice, and he hopes everyone will respect it.

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