No one has had to work as hard on defense as the Minnesota Timberwolves' arena security this postseason.
For the third time in five Timberwolves games, play was briefly interrupted when an animal rights protester invaded the court on Saturday. Unlike the first two, this protester was immediately tackled as she ran onto the court and hauled away by security.
The woman, who had reportedly been sitting behind outgoing Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, was picked out by a security guard sitting only three seats away from her. As soon as she broke for the court, the guard executed a perfect tackle. Several more staffers then stepped in and carried her off the court.
A second person, who appeared to be filming the whole scene with a camera, was also picked up and escorted out by security.
Here's the whole protest thing - Protesters sitting right behind Glen Taylor before one ran out on the floor pic.twitter.com/yw9AJGWqKM
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) April 24, 2022
Another angle of the second person to be escorted out:
According to a press release from Direct Action Everywhere, the animal rights group behind all three protests, the woman was dressed up as an NBA official under her jacket. The plan was apparently to run onto the court, whistle to stop play, then pretend to issue a technical foul and ejection to Taylor seated courtside.
Unfortunately, the security guard had other ideas.
Why are protesters targeting the Timberwolves?
In the first protest during the Timberwolves' play-in game against the Los Angeles Clippers, a woman unsuccessfully attempted to glue herself to the court and was quickly escorted away.
The second protester found much more longevity in Game 1 of the first-round series, that time in Memphis, by stealthily chaining herself to a basket stanchion. In both cases, the protesters were wearing shirts reading "Glen Taylor Roasts Animals Alive."
It didn't take long after the third protest for Direct Action Everywhere to take responsibility.
BREAKING! Animal Rights Activist Sasha Zemmel Dressed as #NBA Ref Arrested While Attempting to “Eject” #Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor.
PRESS RELEASE HERE: https://t.co/SA0aNFDw83#GlenTaylorRoastsAnimalsAlive#RefGirl#NBAPlayoffs#WolvesBack#GlueGirl#ChainGirl#DxEpic.twitter.com/JHxZgTcgTS
— Direct Action Everywhere (@DxEverywhere) April 24, 2022
In its press release, Direct Action Everywhere accused Taylor's chicken farm of mass-killing chickens during an avian flu outbreak with a method known as "ventilation shutdown plus," effectively cutting off the air of an industrial chicken shed and introducing "some combination of heat, steam and/or carbon dioxide gas."
The group is calling for the sale of the Timberwolves from Taylor to Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore be expedited with Taylor immediately stepping down from day-to-day team operations and for the billionaire to donate $11.3 million in federal subsidies to public health charities and animal sanctuaries.