Student Protestors Raise the Stakes at Recent Harvard-Yale Football Game


Ale Lewis '23, Staff Writer

Since 1875, the Harvard-Yale football game has been one of celebration and suspense for tens of thousands of fans in the stands, yet none of the past football games compared to the drama that unfolded on the field in this year’s game.  

A couple of minutes before halftime ended, a small crowd ran onto the field holding signs.  The people were students and alumni from both schools coming to protest climate change and the school’s endowment funded by fossil fuel companies.  They held a banner that read “Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate change injustice.” 

I was fascinated to see a passionate protest occur for climate change during halftime. 

This protest delayed the game thirty minutes, and the fans’ perspectives on this call for justice was mixed.  Some, like my twin and I, were excited to see students use the football game as a platform to raise awareness for this current issue.  

Others were not excited to witness the protest, especially during a high stakes football game.  A man sitting a few seats away from my family started yelling, swearing, and booing the protesters. People behind us yelled at the students and shouted, “Get off the field!” and “We just want to watch the game!”  

One person even said, “Drag them off the field.”  

These views, however, were not shared by all, as hundreds of fans from the stands came running to the field to join the protestors.  

At its peak, the demonstration included five hundred people calling out the school to diversify their investments in fossil fuels.  This raises the question, Is a college football game the right platform to protest for a pressing issue, and if not, then when is the right time?  On one side, the tickets to the game were fifty dollars, and everyone came to witness the best rivalry of the year. Players trained all season, and the game was almost forfeited because of the protest.  But whether or not you support their tactics, the protesters effectively spread awareness about an important topic.  

I look up to the students who felt this passionate about climate change and urge St. Luke’s students to use an effective platform to peacefully protest pressing issues in the world.