Just before the end of half-time during the Harvard versus Yale football game, over 150 students from both schools stormed the field for a protest on climate change. Refusing to leave, police needed to arrest and handcuff numerous protestors who forced a nearly 50-minute delay of game at the start of the third quarter on November 23.
The high profile game, the nation’s second-oldest rivalry, in which the Yale Bulldogs (8-2) hosted the Harvard Crimson (4-5), was stopped in New Haven, Connecticut, as protestors demanded colleges divest from using fossil fuels. Divest Harvard tweeted in tandem with the start of the protest, “BREAKING: Over 150 Yale + Harvard students, alumni, faculty stormed the field at #HarvardYale to demand DIVESTMENT from fossil fuels & cancel holdings in Puerto Rican debt. When it comes to the status quo, #NobodyWins.”
The banner held up by the protestors read, “Nobody wins. Harvard & Yale are complicit in climate injustice.”
Nora Heaphy, an undergraduate at Yale, told The Guardian of her college investing in oil, gas a and coal companies that contribute to global warming, “They believe that they can engage with these companies and get them to change their fundamentally extractive business models, which we think comes from a place of naivety amounting to gross negligence. It’s absurd to make those kinds of claims. So since then our campaign has moved away from administrative engagement, recognizing that it is often a stalling tactic.”
Harvard Quarterback Wesley Ogsbury Supports The Protest
After the game, in which Harvard lost 43-50, captain of the Crimson Tide, Wesley Ogsbury, shared a prepared statement in response to the protest. He said, “Harvard and Yale can’t claim to truly promote knowledge while at the same time, supporting the companies engage in misleading the public, smearing the academics and denying the truth. That’s why we’re joining together with our friends at Yale to call for change.”
Ogsbury, a senior, said that he and his teammates were wearing orange wristbands after the game to show solidarity with the protestors and the climate change issues.
Security Was Needed To Forcibly Remove The Protestors From The Middle Of The Field
The goal of the protestors were to remain on the field as long as possible, and Yale needed to bring in police assistance to get them to leave, and allow the football game to resume.
While many fans watching the Harvard-Yale game believed the game would not resume afterward, roughly 48 minutes after the protest started, the two teams picked up where it left off in the third quarter.
Reactions To The Protest Drew Mixed Emotions Online
Not everyone was excited to protestors delay a game they had paid a lot of money to attend, while others online voiced strong support for the brave students making a statement.
Danielle R. tweeted, “The proudest i’ve been to be a yale student. #harvardyalegame #TheGame #Yale” while Jim Murray tweeted, “Climate change protesters have taken over the field and won’t leave. The worst people alive.”
Actress Daryl Hannah tweeted, “I congratulate & thank
@fossilfreeyale & @DivestHarvard & the work of young activists around the globe who are calling for urgent change to the status quo. Harvard and Yale, it’s time to divest. Because when it comes to the further destruction of our planet #nobodywins”
Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, and Chairman of Trump Students tweeted, “At the Harvard/Yale football game hundreds of students stormed the field at halftime to protest “climate change” The local police should give them one warning then arrest all of them for criminal trespassing. Time to get tough with these narcissistic entitled activists.”
However, Eugene Go MD, President & CEO of Ganogen tweeted, “I applaud students from opposing teams coming together to protest climate change, bringing the Harvard-Yale football game to a full stop. What’s one game compared to our entire planet? Both universities invest their multibillion dollar endowments in fossil fuels so it’s relevant.”