UA football to discontinue pregame 'haka' dance

Posted at 11:49 AM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 14:49:36-04

Arizona's football players will no longer perform a pregame haka dance after a New Zealand expatriate in California started a petition to stop it.

The haka, a Maori ancestral war dance from New Zealand, became popularized at sporting events by New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks.

Arizona has been performing the dance before football games since 2009, when a group of Polynesian players introduced it to share an aspect of their culture and fire up the team.

Christina Campbell started a petition to stop Arizona's haka after a video of the Wildcats doing a haka before a game went viral in New Zealand.

Arizona athletics director Greg Byrne tweeted Friday that the team will create an alternate version of the dance.

BYU and Hawaii also perform a pregame haka.