Protesters supporting benched Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving stormed past barricades outside the team’s home opener on Sunday, prompting Barclays Centre to “briefly” close its doors.

Supporters of Irving – the NBA’s best-known unvaccinated player – could be seen pushing past metal barriers as security guards struggled to keep them from entering the arena in Brooklyn.

Watch the wild scene in the video above

Video posted on social media showed others wearing ‘Stand With Kyrie’ shirts and chanting ‘no more mandate’, a reference to New York City’s vaccination requirements.

The rules require people to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before they enter restaurants, gyms and other venues.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people attended Sunday’s event, which was scheduled to start two hours before the Nets’ 4pm tipoff against the Charlotte Hornets.

Videos appeared to show dozens of supporters outside the arena and hundreds marching.

Protesters caused chaos at the Barclays Centre before the Nets’ clash with the Hornets.
Protesters caused chaos at the Barclays Centre before the Nets’ clash with the Hornets. Credit: AP

“Barclays Centre 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,” an arena spokeswoman said.

“Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”

The Nets’ general manager said this month that Irving wouldn’t play or practise until “he is eligible to be a full participant”.

Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets will not select Kyrie Irving until he is vaccinated against COVID-19. Credit: AP

Irving has said he is “doing what’s best for me”.

“I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonised for that, that’s just what it is,” he said.

Irving has otherwise remained silent and has not commented on the protest.

– with 7NEWS

CLOSE THE DOORS: Wild scenes as protesters storm barricades at NBA opener
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