Woman disrupts Grizzlies game for animal rights protest, apologizes to Memphis community

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:55 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The woman who was arrested last weekend after disrupting a Grizzlies basketball game appeared in court Monday morning.

During Saturday’s game at the FedExForum, 19-year-old Zoe Rosenberg threw political flyers on the court and chained herself to the basketball goal momentarily stopping the game.

Rosenburg is facing criminal trespass and disorderly conduct charges. Judge Karen Massey says Rosenberg will need a lawyer.

She spoke with Action News 5 before she faced a judge and she says she is with a grassroots animal rights network that hosts nonviolent protests to raise awareness about violence towards animals.

She says she was protesting Glen Taylor, the former owner of the Timberwolves. Rosenberg claims he owns a factory egg farm and says it roasted 5.3 million chickens alive -- the reasoning behind her protest.

“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,” said Rosenburg. “I hope he’ll donate that to public charities.”

There were some questions about how she got on the court. She says it was as simple as just walking on the court. Rosenburg says she went through metal detectors with the metal chains she used in her demonstration.

We asked Rosenberg what her message was for the Memphis community regarding her protest during the playoff game...

“Nothing but respect to the Memphis community,” said Rosenburg. I’m sorry that folks felt like the game was interrupted and if anybody felt like it was disrespectful. I just wanted to raise awareness about this really big issue and demand justice for the 5.3 million who died in excruciating pain.”

She’s set to be back in court on May 16 and says this wasn’t her first time getting arrested. She says she views repercussions as a small sacrifice to get these issues heard and plans to continue her work fighting for animals.

A spokesperson for the Memphis Grizzlies and FedEx Forum says this incident is being investigated. The organizations says Rosenberg had a ticket, but not for the area where she chained herself to the basket.

“I just walked onto the court. A lot of people are wondering but it was as simple as that. I just walked on,” Rosenberg said.

The spokesperson said FedEx Forum visitors to Tuesday’s game won’t notice many differences because of Saturday’s incident. While Rosenberg said she brought a metal chain into the building, the spokesperson said she did not bring anything on the prohibited items list inside the building.

Action News 5 reached out to Taylor’s company for a comment on these continued protests but have not heard back.

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