An animal rights protester wearing an NBA referee jersey stormed the field during the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies playoff game at Minnesota’s Target Center on Saturday night – the third protester removed from the field in 10 days.
The woman was sitting second in the row behind Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor as she made her way down the field as the players battled for a rebound with 10:44 left in the third quarter, matchday footage shows.
She was quickly tackled by several security guards as the players ran for a loose ball until the referees whistled and she was dragged off the field.
The protester was identified as Sasha Zemmel of St. Louis in a statement from animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere.
Zemmel wore a makeshift referee’s jersey with the number 5.3 displayed on the back “in honor of the 5.3 million chickens killed” after an outbreak of bird flu at Rembdrant Enterprises – an egg farm owned by Taylor , the organization said.
She appeared to be wearing a brown jacket over the gray jersey when she was approached by security.
According to the animal rights group, “she attempted to whistle to stop the game as she approached Taylor in her courtside seat, to inflict a ‘technical foul and an ejection’, as well as ‘fine’ against Forbes Minnesota’s richest billionaire.”
This is the third protest at a Timberwolves game orchestrated by the organization.
On April 16, in Game 1 of the playoff series, an animal rights activist chained herself to the basket post. The woman, wearing a t-shirt that read: ‘Glen Taylor roasts animals alive’ – attempted to lock herself in the hoop during a second quarter stoppage of play after throwing flyers by earth. Direct Action Everywhere identified the woman as Zoe Rosenburg.
Three days earlier, another woman in the organization stuck her wrist on the field during the second quarter of the Timberwolves’ home game against the Clippers. The woman, identified as activist Alicia Santurio, was quickly escorted off the pitch as the glue was not strong enough to prevent her removal.
New York Post