NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The annual football showdown between Harvard and Yale took a shocking turn Saturday after dozens of climate change protesters stormed the field and wouldn’t leave.
Over 150 people, allegedly students and alumni from both schools, jumped onto the field at halftime at the Yale Bowl in Connecticut.
According to reports, the band of climate change activists were demanding that the presidents of both universities to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
Police in yellow vests lined up alongside the sit-in but did not intervene. When the 15-minute halftime expired and the protest continued, hundreds more fans streamed onto the field to join in. Fans remaining in the stands began to boo.
— Minh Ngo (@minhtngo) November 23, 2019
Security then began escorting the on-field interlopers away – causing a total delay of about 48 minutes in the game – which Harvard was leading 15-3 at the time.
The public address announcer implored the group to leave, repeating, “As a courtesy to both teams, the game must resume.” Protesters responded by chanting, “OK, boomer.”
At halftime of Harvard-Yale a sit in protesting climate issues has broken out on the field, at least delaying the second half and the way the protest is growing I would be shocked if the game continues. pic.twitter.com/2BWCU2fLuI
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 23, 2019
In a statement distributed to reporters in the press box during the fourth quarter, Yale said it “stands firmly for the right to free expression.”
“While I respect the rights of Harvard and Yale students to protest, their efforts should not impact their fellow students’ ability to pursue their passions as athletes on the field of play, and those who support them,” Yale athletic director Vicky Chun said. “We are proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their resilience today in an extremely difficult situation.”
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. @YaleEJC @FossilFreeYale @DivestHarvard pic.twitter.com/lZAcAxxmYw
— Divest Harvard 🔶 (@DivestHarvard) November 23, 2019
Between 20 and 30 protesters were arrested, according to organizers of the event.
“Our goal was to spread the word,” said Harvard junior Rachel Sadoff. “If more people speak up, our colleges will have to listen.”
She said those arrested were released and given a court date.
Despite protesters’ use of the hashtag “#NodyWins” on social media, Yale would prevail once the game was resumed — winning 50-43 in double overtime.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)