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Former NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley said he is “disgusted” by the events taking place at Columbia University. 

Wiley, who played college football at Columbia, recently joined Dan Dakich on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me” to address the ongoing protests at the Ivy League university. Similar demonstrations have been happening at college campuses across the U.S. in recent weeks.

“I’m disgusted,” Wiley began. “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. Now peacefully protest, go do it.”


Marcellus Wiley #75 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during a NFL football game against the Washington Redskins on September 27, 2004 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Wiley argued that protesting was not the “end all be all.”

“I talk to these kids and I know my foundation, Project Transition, I’m always in the community and talking to these kids… half these kids don’t even know why they out there protesting. It’s unreal… like it’s insane.” Wiley told Dakich. “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.”


The former Buffalo Bills defender added that students’ actions could impact their future.

“So I don’t know why these kids are going to this extent… creating encampments, destroying their university, their property, their reputation, 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.”

Demonstrators gather outside the main entrance to Columbia University in New York City, U.S., April 29, 2024.  (REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs)

Wiley then pointed to Stanford University’s handling of student protests.

“I wish we would’ve handled it like Stanford. 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… you are allowed to protest these hours, these places, go ahead. 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.” 

TV Personality Marcellus Wiley attends the Homeless Not Toothless Hollywood Event at The Beverly Hilton on April 22, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Like at other universities across the country, some students at Stanford have created an encampment in the White Plaza portion of the northern California college campus to protest Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip. 

Stanford President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez said the student encampment violates polices that prohibit overnight camping on campus. The university has submitted the names of students caught violating campus policies to the Office of Community Standards (OCS) for disciplinary proceedings, they said. 

Protest organizers have decried the university’s response to the student protests. 


The Bills drafted Wiley in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft out of Columbia. After a four-year run in Buffalo, Wiley went on to play for the Chargers, Cowboys, and Jaguars.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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