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Why are people protesting at NBA games?

On Saturday night we saw more protesting in the NBA, with some woman being captured on mobile phones being carried away by security personnel. But why?

Apr 16, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; A protester chains herself to a basket during the first half of game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Christine Tannous-USA TODAY Sports
Christine TannousUSA TODAY Sports

Another very public protest was seen on Saturday night during the NBA Playoff between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies, one that saw the Timberwolves win 119-118 and tie the series 2-2 thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns’ career playoff-best 33 points and 14 rebounds.

Why were people protesting?

We were just entering the third quarter in the game when a protestor jumped out of her second row seat and ran towards court. As she did, the aforementioned Towns was putting up a shot after being played in by Patrick Beverley. The incident was dealt with quickly by security personnel positioned closely and her efforts were limited to a brief stoppage in the action as she was taken away. Another protestor was also escorted away without much fuss.

The protest was nothing to do with those stars entertaining the crowd but instead targeting at Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. His company, Rembrandt Enterprises, has been accused of cruelty to animals at their farms, and how it allegedly handled an avian flu outbreak, which killed roughly 28 million poultry. The protestor was part of a group called Direct Action Everywhere, whose press release read as follows.

“The group is requesting that Taylor donate all HPAI-related subsidies he received to public health charities and animal sanctuaries as a ‘fine’ and commit to not taking any such funds in relation to the recent outbreak and mass killing.

“Saying the NBA is no place for abusive factory farmers, DxE is also asking that the sale of the team - set to transfer majority ownership to baseball Hall of Famer Alex Rodriquez and businessman Marc Lore in 2023 - be expedited, with Taylor immediately stepping down from day-to-day operations.”

This latest incident followed one when the Timberwolves beat the LA Clippers in the play-in tournament - where a protestor tried to glue herself to the floor - and also in Game 1 of this series when someone successfully chained themselves to one of the baskets.


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