Illinois to stop playing ‘war chant’ music at games

CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 16: Controversial symbol "Chief Illiniwek" of the University of Illinois performs during the half-time show of a game between Illinois and Michigan at Memorial Stadium October 16, 2004 in Champaign, Illinois. Michigan defeated Illinois 30-19. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A University of Illinois athletic department spokesman says the school is ending its tradition of playing “war chant ” music during sporting events.

Spokesman Kent Brown said Friday that the Illini made the decision in an effort to be more inclusive and because students haven’t responded to it as much at football games recently. The music stems from the school’s former mascot, Chief Illiniwek. American Indians and the NCAA pushed the university for years to do away with Chief Illiniwek, which Illinois did in 2007.

Brown says the decision to stop using the music was made at the end of last football season. It wasn’t publicized until Thursday when athletic department representatives asked members of the student group Illini Pride to stop playing the song on a drum at a soccer game.


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