The long-running traditional rivalry football game between Harvard and Yale Universities was unceremoniously disrupted on Saturday by left-leaning activists protesting climate change — and a few dozen of those protesters soon paid the price.
As many as 42 protesters were arrested in connection to the incident, The Washington Times reported Sunday.
It was during halftime of the 136th annual meeting of the rival Ivy League schools at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut that alumni and students from both schools stormed the field to stage a “sit-in.”
Reports indicated that about 150 individuals planned the halftime protest at midfield, and were joined by another 100 or so people from the stands after it had begun.
The protesters displayed banners and signs that mostly focused on climate change, including in particular a demand that both schools divest from the fossil fuel industry, but the protesters also focused some attention on other wholly unrelated grievances.
Most of the protesters left the field after about an hour of delay, but there were a few dozen who remained. Those who refused to leave, which amounted to nearly four dozen protesters, were arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. They were issued a summons to appear in court and were then released.
The Connecticut Post reported that actor Sam Waterston, an alumnus of Yale famous for his role in the TV series Law and Order, was among those arrested as part of the protest.
Waterston was previously arrested during a climate change protest in Washington on Oct. 18, and has become an outspoken advocate on the issue.
A staged protest
According to the Times, Yale released a statement following the disruptive protest that made clear the university supported the protesters’ actions and “stands firmly for the right to free expression.”
The Ivy League, on the other hand, took a decidedly different view, saying in a statement: “It is regrettable that the orchestrated protest came during a time when fellow students were participating in a collegiate career-defining contest and an annual tradition when thousands gather from around the world to enjoy and celebrate the storied traditions of both football programs and universities.”
Yale, which was trailing Harvard 15–3 at halftime, went on to win the rivalry game 50–43 in double overtime, a victory that sealed the school’s Ivy League championship for this season.
As for the protesters, while they are certainly free to express their thoughts on climate change and other matters, doing so in a disruptive manner during a football game is not acceptable and really doesn’t help their cause at all. They’ve been reduced to mere laughingstocks who should simply be ignored. Period.