Columbia grad and ex-NFL player talks anti-Israel campus protests: ‘I hate that they’re sullying our reputation’

Former NFL star Marcellus Wiley, a Columbia University graduate, does not care for the ongoing anti-Israel protests at the school.

“I’m disgusted,” he told OutKick host Dan Dakich this week. “I don’t pick the political side. It doesn’t matter what side you are politically on this one. You don’t have the right to protest and be unruly.”

As a Columbia alumni, he’s especially annoyed by what the protesters have been doing to the school’s reputation.

“I hate that they’re sullying our reputation,” he said. “There are literally articles written — I saw one in Forbes: ‘The New Ivy League.’ I’m like, the new Ivy League? They’re trying to get rid of the old Ivy League because our reputations are down in the toilet because of situations like this.”

“And every other day you hear about the head of the university being fired or canceled. It’s every school in the Ivy League. They’re really damaging our reputation,” he added.

Wiley went on to accuse the protesters of not having a genuine clue of what they’re protesting for/against.

“Half these kids don’t even know why they’re out there protesting,” he said. “It’s unreal. Like, it’s insane. And the ones that do know also know that this is not the end all, be all.”

“There are other steps and measures you must take beyond protesting. So I don’t know why these kids are going to this extent — creating encampments, destroying their university, their property, their reputation,” he added.

“Because when you leave, people ask ‘Where did you go to school?’ And then their minds goes to two places. The positive, academic reputation, great curriculum…. and then awe Columbia… the place where all the protests, the place where all the kids can’t even be controlled, the place where the leadership didn’t step in fast enough, swift enough. So it damages your reputation, but we will rebound because we have to rebound,” he concluded.

In his opinion, Columbia University should have handled the protests just like Stanford University handled theirs.

“I wish we would’ve handled it like Stanford,” he said. “I saw some of the Texas schools, some of the Florida schools. Stanford wrote a letter. They said, look, before ya’ll go outside, let me just let you know the rules of engagement.”

“That’s what I wish Columbia would have did. And then after that if you want to violate these policies, there will be swift consequences,” he added.

Stanford released a statement last Tuesday vowing to crack down on protesters who violate the rules.

“With respect to the encampment on White Plaza, the university is continuing to submit names of students who are violating campus policies to the Office of Community Standards (OCS) for disciplinary proceedings,” the statement reads.

“This is being done in a viewpoint-neutral manner and based on evidence of students’ conduct in violation of university policy. Students who are involved will have the opportunity to provide a defense to OCS,” it continues.

The school also, to its credit, forwarded a photo to the FBI of a protester wearing a Hamas headband.

Instead of following Stanford’s route, Columbia chose to let things get way, way, way out of hand.

“We’re in a society where everybody is trying to pander and appease all, which means we really don’t get anything done,” Wiley said. “Because you can’t move the needle for all. You have to move the needle in the right direction. And some people are wrong.”

“It’s actually okay to say you’re doing the wrong thing, which is unruly protests. I’m not talking about what you’re protesting. Can you understand that? You’re a college student — you should be able to. You just can’t do it in this fashion. Wish Columbia would have come down with a heavier hand in that situation,” he added.

The only refreshing news is that nearly half of Columbia protesters who were arrested earlier in the week turned out to be outside “agitators,” not current students.

“The data from [NYC Mayor Eric] Adams’ administration … show 134 of the 282 people arrested in Tuesday night’s raids at Columbia and City College weren’t students or faculty,” the New York Daily News reported.

“Other arrest data obtained by The News shows that about a third of those arrested were 30 or older, though it was not clear from those statistics how many of them were or weren’t students,” the report continues.

Vivek Saxena

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