Climate change protest delays football game between Harvard and Yale

Nick Bromberg
Protesters disrupt the Harvard vs. Yale game. (via ESPNU)
Protesters disrupt the Harvard vs. Yale game. (via ESPNU)

The annual Harvard vs. Yale football game was delayed at the start of the second half on Saturday because of a climate change protest.

Protesters from climate advocacy groups at both schools flooded the field to force the game to be stopped. Harvard was leading Yale 15-3 at the start of the third quarter when the groups came onto the field.

The groups, which have the support of some students, alumni and faculty, want the schools to divest their endowments from fossil fuel companies. One of the banners displayed at the protest said, “Nobody wins: Yale & Harvard are complicit in climate injustice.”

The protest lasted approximately 40 minutes before the field was cleared at about 2:40 p.m. ET and football resumed after that.

Also reportedly among the supporters for the protest were some of the players whose game was interrupted. Divest Harvard, one of the organizations that organized the protest, released a video after the game of Harvard football captain Wesley Ogsbury backing their statement.

“When it comes to the climate crisis, no one wins,” Ogsbury said, “Harvard and Yale can’t claim to truly promote knowledge while at the same time supporting the companies engaged in misleading the public, smearing academics and denying the truth.”

Ogsbury added that he and many of his teammates were wearing orange wristbands in solidarity with the protesters.

Per an ESPN sideline report, deans from both schools talked to the protesters on the field after the protest began. The game kicked off at noon and was televised on ESPNU, which cut back and forth between updates on the protest and a simulcast of the Oklahoma State-West Virginia game on ESPN2 as the protest happened.

The movement to divest Harvard’s endowment from fossil fuel holdings started earlier in the decade. The prestigious Ivy League schools have two of the biggest university endowments in the country and their football game is one of the most historic rivalries in the country. That’s why it was such a prime spot for a climate change protest to take place.

Yale leads the all-time series 68-60-8 after coming back from that 15-3 deficit. The Bulldogs won 50-43 in double-overtime as the game finished on the cusp of darkness as the sun set on a stadium that has no lights.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports

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