Security guard swiftly stops an animal rights protester at NBA playoff game

Video footage showed the moment a security guard moved swiftly to stop an animal rights protestor at an NBA playoff game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves.

On Saturday, Sasha Zemmel was wearing an NBA referee jersey and leapt over the courtside seats where Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor, 81, and his wife, Becky, were watching the game in the third quarter before she was then tackled by security and ushered away.

This is the third protest in the series within the last 10 days.

Zemmel's companion, who remains unknown, remained behind the Taylors and next to the second row of Timberwolves assistant coaches, who helped security tackle her down.

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She is reportedly an activist for the animal rights group, Direct Action Everywhere, according to a statement from the organisation obtained by

The non-profit has been protesting the way the chicken farm owned by Taylor's Rembrandt Enterprises has allegedly been handling an avian flu outbreak. The highly contagious virus has killed around 28 million birds. Taylor is also estimated to have a net worth of $2.5bn.

Police have not said whether or not Zemmel will face charges for her display.

At the height of the situation, Zemmel wore an alternative NBA referee jersey with the number 5.3 on the back to indicate "the 5.3 million chickens killed" as a result of the virus, according to the organisation.

She was also seen wearing a velvet jacket over the gray jersey when the security took her out of the court.

People took to Twitter to share their sentiments about the incident, with many trying to make light of it and pointing out the security's quick thinking.

After the game, Direct Action Everywhere's statement to the said that Zemmel "attempted to whistle to stop play" as she began to approach Taylor at his courtside seat to issue a "technical foul and ejection," as well as a "fine" against Forbes' richest billionaire in Minnesota," according to its statement.

The incident was the third animal rights protest to occur at a Timberwolves game facilitated by the group since the beginning of the first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. They are currently tied at 2-2.

Zoe Rosenberg, 19, was arrested on April 16 after she entered the court and littered the floor with flyers, stopping the game. She then put a yellow chain across her neck and body and attached it to the goal post. Soon after, she was removed from the court and arrested.

Rosenberg faces disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing charges, was released on a $2,500 bond, and appeared in a Tennessee court on April 18.

Speaking with Action News 5, she said: "I think my message was heard loud and clear, and I hope Glen Taylor will step down from his role at the factory egg farm and donate the government money he was given for killing all these chickens."

NBC Memphis said that Rosenberg was able to get into the basketball court by accessing a restricted area in the FedEx Forum.

She is due to appear again in court on May 16.

Rosenberg's protest happened less than a week after Alicia Santurio attempted to glue herself to the Timberwolves' floor on April 12. Santuario did this at a game between the Timberwolves and the L.A. Clippers.

Santurio did not face arrest for this, only removal from the arena.

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