An animal rights protester wearing an NBA referee jersey, bolts onto the court during the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies playoff game at Minnesota’s Target Center and is tackled to the ground by security – foiling her plans to protest the game.
Video of the Saturday night incident shows the woman sitting in the second-row courtside behind Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor. Though the woman had no idea security was eyeing her a few seats away.
But as players fought for a rebound with 10:44 left in the third quarter, out of nowhere when she thought the coast was clear, she forces her way onto the court and was tackled to the ground by the security guard who kept eyes on her the whole time. After the whistle blew, the protester was dragged off the court.
Soon after, another protester who was seated beside the woman recording the stunt was removed as well.
What is going on????— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 24, 2022
According to Fox News, the protester was identified as Sasha Zemmel of St. Louis, Mo. Animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere claimed the protests were an attempt to have Taylor “step down and return factory farm bailout money.” The organization also claimed responsibility for two previous protesters who were removed from the court at Timberwolves games in 10 days.
New York Post reporeted Zemmel was wearing a maroon jacket over the fake referee jersey when she was tackled by security. She had the number 5.3 on the back of the fake jersey “in honor of the 5.3 million chickens killed” after a bird flu outbreak at Rembdrant Enterprises, which is an egg factory owned by the Timberwolves owner.
In a press release, Direct Action Everywhere confirmed that Zemmel was “dressed as #NBA Ref…while attempting to ‘eject’ #Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor.”
“She attempted to whistle to stop play as she approached Taylor at his courtside seat, to issue a ‘technical foul and ejection,’ along with a ‘fine’ against Forbes’ richest billionaire in Minnesota,” the organization said.
Read more via Fox News.