Cops Pepper-Spray Dancers at Ballgame

Polynesians had traveled 200 miles to honor player
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 5:28 PM CDT
Utah Police Pepper-Spray Polynesian Dancers at Football Game
Police in Utah pepper-sprayed a group of 'Haka' dancers at a football game.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Want to host a Maori tribe dance anytime soon? Well, don't try it at a high school in Utah. A group of Polynesian men and boys spontaneously started a Haka dance at Union High school in Roosevelt, Utah, last week and met with an unpleasant surprise: police pepper spray and batons. The dancers had come 200 miles to see a fellow Polynesian play his last football game at the school, NBC reports.

It happened after the game, when the group began its song and dance for players leaving the field. Police told them to make way, but "they were in the middle of their dance, and if anyone knows the Haka dance, they're loud and talking in unison," says the brother of one player. Soon police pepper spray was flying, hitting dancers and bystanders alike. Roosevelt police say they're looking into the incident. (Read more dancers stories.)

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