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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Haka no more: Arizona football to discontinue use of pregame haka dance after criticism


The Ka Mate haka dance was made famous by the New Zealand national union rugby team, All Blacks.

The Arizona football team has a tradition before every game that started in 2009, however, it will no longer be permitted in the program.  

The highly recognized Ka Mate haka dance that is lead by a plethora of Polynesian players was discontinued after a California State associate professor created an online petition.

Dr. Christina Campbell, of CSUN, was outraged with the poor quality of work the Wildcats put into the dance as it is known for the New Zealand national rugby union team, All Blacks.

“Yes — thank you all so much for your support,” Campbell posted on her petition. “I just received this email from the University of Arizona Athletics department, they will no longer be performing Ka Mate.”

According to the petition, 1,831 people signed it supporting Arizona to stop the haka.

“Haka only exists in New Zealand,” Campbell said to Radio New Zealand. “The fact that they are doing Ka Mate, one of the most famous Maori war dances, and doing it very poorly, strikes a chord with a lot of New Zealanders living in America and watching it on TV here.”

According to, the haka dance was traditionally performed on the battlefield and was a “display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity.”

Arizona will have to find another pre-game hype tradition without upsetting the wrong person.

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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