New Haven, Connecticut • Protesters wearing Harvard and Yale colors staged a sit-in at Yale Bowl midfield during halftime of the 136th annual football rivalry known as The Game . Most left after about an hour when escorted by police; a handful of people who remained were told by the police that they were under arrest.
A few dozen protesters took to the field first as the Yale group wrapped up their halftime routine. They held banners asking school presidents to divest from the fossil fuel industry, while other signs raised issues of Puerto Rican debt and the treatment of Uyghurs.
Largely college-aged but with a few older protesters mixed in, the group chanted, “Hey Hey! Hoho! Fossil fuels must go!” A banner read “It’s an emergency”.
Police in yellow vests lined the side of the sit-in but did not intervene. When the 15-minute half-time expired and the protest continued, hundreds of other fans streamed onto the pitch to join them. Fans left in the stands began to boo, but only briefly.
Players tried to stay warm on the touchline in the mid-40s temperatures but then returned to their locker rooms. Harvard coach Tim Murphy received an update from game officials and public safety officers as the protest continued.
The PA announcer implored the group to leave, repeating, “Out of courtesy to both teams, play must resume.” Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins addressed the protesters through a megaphone, trying to convince them they had made their point, but that would be lost if the situation escalated.
After about an hour, the police formed a line and advanced from the Yale sideline toward the Harvard sideline. A protest leader encouraged all “internationals” to leave. An agreement was reached to escort the remains, with one policeman for every two protesters.
Those who did not leave then—perhaps a dozen or two—were told by Higgins that they would be arrested. Asked about the number of people taken into custody, Higgins asked the police information officer. Calls to Yale and New Haven police were not immediately returned.
As Yale hoped to clinch an Ivy League title, Harvard led 15-3 at halftime and opened a 29-19 lead after three quarters. The Crimson led 36-22 with about seven minutes left in the game, and most of the 44,989 in the announced crowd were gone.
The game, which started at noon, had six minutes left on the clock with the 4:26 p.m. sunset in New Haven half an hour away.
The Yale Bowl has no lights.