NFL owner Robert Kraft cuts off donations to Columbia U: ‘I’d never thought I’d see in America…’

As Columbia University faces a spiraling crisis amid anti-Israel protests on campus, the Ivy League school is now losing donor support as well.

Billionaire Robert Kraft announced that he has “lost faith” in his alma mater’s ability to protect students from the “virulent hate” on campus that saw in-person classes canceled on Monday. He pulled his financial support and others also threatened to do the same even as university staff staged a walk-out to protest law enforcement being called in to handle the crowds of protesters on campus.

“The school I love so much – the one that welcomed me and provided me with so much opportunity – is no longer an institution I recognize,” the Columbia graduate said in a statement Monday.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country,” the New England Patriots owner added. “It is my hope that Columbia and its leadership will stand up to this hate by ending these protests immediately and will work to earn back the respect and trust of the many of us who have lost faith in the institution.”

“It is my hope that in this difficult time, the Kraft Center at Columbia will serve as a source of security and safety for all Jewish students and faculty on campus who want to gather peacefully to practice their religion, to be together, and to be welcomed,” Kraft concluded.

In a letter to University President Minouche Shafik, House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik and other New York Republicans urged her to step down, saying, “Over the past few days, anarchy has engulfed the campus of Columbia University.” But hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman, who threatened to withdraw financial support back in October, thinks the “administration is now responding properly.”

“These kids are f***ing crazy. They don’t understand what they’re doing or what they’re talking about,” the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants told CNN Monday, adding that the protesters “are out of control” and “have to be controlled.”

Cooperman said he would continue to donate to Columbia University only if the funds just support the Columbia Business School from which he graduated.

Kraft, the founder of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he “never thought” he would see the level of antisemitism in America.

“I’d never thought I’d see in America – what’s happening right now. And it really pains me to see,” he said on “Hannity” Monday.

“We have our holiday going on right now, it goes back to memories of thousands of years ago where negative things were happening, and the same is happening now in this great country that offered so many opportunities to our families who came here as immigrants.”

“And we have to keep it open. We can’t have this intimidation that’s filtering through all these colleges and the hate [that continues] to grow and multiply the way it is,” the Patriots CEO said.

“Look at America, we’ve done research, and it shows 90% of the people in this country are good people. They just have to be educated, and we can’t have them apathetic or misguided. We have to let them know, and they have to stand up and not be silent,” he added.

“It starts with the Jews, but then every group that feels marginalized, whether it be Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, gay people. It’ll just really impact the great fabric of this country where people have freedom to operate and go the way they want. And now, we have hatred and intimidation taking over,” Kraft told Hannity.

“I’m just thinking, when I went to Columbia, it was a place where people listened, where [the] apathetic had compassion. And now we have professors, who instead of teaching how to think, they’re trying to tell our young people what they should think,” he lamented.

Frieda Powers

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