The annual Harvard-Yale football game was interrupted at halftime on Saturday by hundreds of alumni and students from both schools who flooded the field to protest investments the schools have in fossil fuel companies.
The Harvard Crimson reported that protesters chanting "Divest" and holding signs reading "Yale and Harvard United for Climate Justice," stormed the field minutes before halftime ended while players were on the field warming up. The protesters were then joined by hundreds of spectators in the stands.
Students, alumni and faculty have long called on the schools to divest their endowments from the fossil fuel industry to no avail, the Crimson reports.
"Yale stands firmly for the right to free expression. Today, students from Harvard and Yale expressed their views and delayed the start of the second half of the football game," the school said the statement. "We stand with the Ivy League in its statement that '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.'"
ESPN's Jack Ford, who is calling the game, reported that both school's deans addressed the protesters, informing them that they would either have to leave the field, or be arrested. About 30 minutes after the protesters stormed the field, at least 50 people were escorted off by police and the game resumed.
"We are grateful to the staff members and police officers who ensured the peaceful departure of students from the field," Yale said in the statement. "The exercise of free expression on campus is subject to general conditions, and we do not allow disruption of university events."
The teams are now playing against the clock, as the sun sets at 4:27 p.m. in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Yale Bowl does not have lights.
This is the 136th Harvard-Yale game, known as "The Game." According to Ford, if Yale loses — and second place Dartmouth beats Brown — Yale will come in second overall. If Yale wins, the Bulldogs take the league title. Harvard, who was leading Yale 15 to 3 before the interruption, is not in the running for the title.
First published on November 23, 2019 / 2:48 PM
© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.