Story at a glance

  • A group of climate change protesters occupied the field during last week’s football game between Yale and Harvard.
  • As many as 500 people filled the field during halftime, delaying the game for roughly an hour.
  • The demonstrators were protesting the universities’ financial ties to the fossil fuel industry.

An Ivy League football game turned into a climate change protest last weekend. During halftime of the Yale-Harvard football game a group of about 100 people took to the field to protest the universities’ financial ties with the fossil fuel industry and demand divestment, the New York Times reports.

Harvard has refused to eliminate its investments in the fossil fuel industry. At the end of last year, Harvard’s president told the Harvard Crimson that there were more effective ways to “bring about meaningful change” than divestment. For its part, Yale has attempted to minimize its investment portfolio’s support for companies contributing to climate change.  

At the stadium in New Haven, Conn., Harvard was winning 15-3 when activists appeared carrying large banners featuring slogans including: “Nobody wins: Yale & Harvard are complicit in climate injustice.” 

Protesters streamed in from different sides of Yale’s stadium and were joined by more emptying from the stands, forming a crowd at midfield that swelled to roughly 500. Yale campus police and officers from the New Haven police department were soon on the field attempting to remove and disperse the demonstrators. A Yale spokeswoman told the Times that police issued 42 misdemeanor summonses for disorderly conduct.

The protest drew mixed reactions from the crowd, according to the Times, with some booing and demanding that police drag the protesters off the field so the game could resume. 

After a 48-minute delay, Yale won in dramatic fashion after two overtimes. Yale’s 50-43 victory was the latest entry in a rivalry dating back to 1875.

Published on Nov 26, 2019