Speaking of Unruly (Fan) Behavior – Student Activists Briefly Halt Play at Northwestern
Birds fly, fish swim, and activist university students protest, such is the way of things. College football games attract thousands of fans and a big television audience. The combination of big audiences, big sports, and television cameras is irresistible to student activists.
On 6 November 2021, almost a dozen students championing different causes took the field during the first half of the Northwestern vs. Iowa game at Northwestern’s Ryan Field. Play stopped for five minutes while students fought against the wind to unfurl their homemade banners.
Some banners advocated abolishing the Northwestern police department. Others supported causes in the Middle East. Some urged divestments from companies and nations for various reasons. While the fans in the stands could see the protesters, the banners faced mostly in one direction. Reporting by Yahoo/Sports noted the protesters were unaware their banners faced away from the cameras and the press box.
Between shouts of ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’ students upset with referee calls, and protests on the field, the fan experience is a mix of sports and unruly behavior.