Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulls support for Columbia amid ‘virulent hate’ on campus

The decision by the former student and major donor adds to pressure on the university.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country,” Kraft said in a statement through his Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. “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.”

The businessperson helped kickstart funding for an $11.5 million building with a $3 million donation to construct what would become the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life in 2000, and he’s donated millions more since.

Kraft is still willing to support the center, he said during a CNN interview later Monday. “That has been a haven of safety,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But the situation on campus has gone “too far, for months,” he added.

He also contrasted the protests over the Israel-Hamas war with his time on campus.

“I think back when I went to Columbia, the Vietnam war was raging and people spoke out and they paid the consequences, but they were willing to do it. They didn’t wear masks and they had accountability. And now we have to have accountability,” Kraft said.