Patriots’ Robert Kraft pulls support for Columbia University amid antisemitic violence

New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft made it his mission to “stand up to Jewish hate” in the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel and on Monday he went a step further.

Kraft announced he was pulling his support for Columbia University amid the antisemitic violence at the Ivy League school. He released a statement through his philanthropic organization, Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.

Robert Kraft in March 2024

Robert Kraft speaks during the Historic Roots of Black and Jewish Solidarity at 92NY on March 7, 2024, in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

“It was through the full academic scholarship Columbia gave me that I was able to attend college and get my start in life and for that I have been tremendously grateful,” Kraft’s statement read. “However, 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.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country. I am no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff and I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken.

“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 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 religions, to be together and to be welcomed.”

Columbia University protestors

Protesters demonstrate near Columbia University on Feb. 2, 2024, in New York City. (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Kraft’s foundation has been at the forefront of the fight against antisemitism – amplified further by the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel. The organization also had an ad during the Super Bowl.


Students at Columbia University were told in an overnight statement that all classes will be held virtually on Monday as anti-Israel protesters have taken over the campus, its president announced.

Columbia University President Dr. Nemat “Minouche” Shafik said in a statement, posted in the early hours Monday morning, that she was “deeply saddened” by certain actions of agitators, who have formed an “encampment” on the campus and have riled students and faculty with anti-Jewish slogans and chants.

“I am deeply saddened by what is happening on our campus,” Shafik wrote. “Our bonds as a community have been severely tested in ways that will take a great deal of time and effort to reaffirm. Students across an array of communities have conveyed fears for their safety and we have announced additional actions we are taking to address security concerns. The decibel of our disagreements has only increased in recent days. These tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas.”

Robert Kraft in Foxborough

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks to the press at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Jan. 11, 2024. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

“We need a reset,” she added. “To deescalate the rancor and give us all a chance to consider next steps, I am announcing that all classes will be held virtually on Monday. Faculty and staff who can work remotely should do so; essential personnel should report to work according to university policy. Our preference is that students who do not live on campus will not come to campus.”

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.

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