Coach to talk to football team about headdresses at charity event

Coach to talk to football team about headdresses at charity event

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football coach Tim Beckman plans to talk with the entire team Wednesday after more than a dozen players recently adorned their heads with Native American headdresses for a charity event.

Described as a "strong man competition," the fundraiser was held Friday at Memorial Stadium and involved players performing various feats of strength, such as lifting barbells and hauling tires. Members of the team that won donned feathered headdresses and smeared orange and blue face paint on their bodies. Photos were posted on, and recently removed from, the team's Facebook page. Athletics spokesman Kent Brown confirmed the department removed the photos on Tuesday afternoon. The athletics department manages Facebook pages for each sport.

Beckman, who was not at Friday's event, told The News-Gazette he would speak with his players about their decision to dress in faux Native American garb when they meet on Wednesday.

"When dealing with the Chief and things involved in this program, in this university, we need to make sure we understand everything that's involved in that. When making decisions on this, we need to make sure we're making it in a way that's right for the university. Everything we do, we do for the university," Beckman said.

"It's something we have to continue to educate everybody about," Brown said of the school's history regarding Chief Illiniwek.

After decades of debate, the UI Board of Trustees officially voted in March 2007 to end Chief Illiniwek's dance and the use of the Chief or any Native American imagery for the university or its athletic programs. The NCAA had previously prohibited the UI from hosting postseason tournaments as long as it used Native American imagery.

"Our student athletes are students on campus, and they have their own opinions. They have the right to their own opinions," Brown said. However, he added, the players' recent use of Native American imagery "is something we're aware of and it's something they will be made more sensitive to."

Neither Beckman nor his coaches attended Friday's event.

"It was not anything the athletic department was involved in or in charge of," Beckman said.

The head coach was in Chicago attending a fundraiser for the Randy Walker Foundation. The amount of time coaches spend with student athletes during the summer is limited per NCAA rules.

"No one knew what they were going to do ahead of time. It was totally run and organized by the Uplifting Athletes club," Brown said.

It's the second year for the fundraiser, organized by the student group Uplifting Athletes. Much of the football team participated in the Friday night event. Players divided into teams to perform the challenges. They also were available after the event to meet with fans.

About $5,000 was raised for the Acoustic Neuroma Association of America. Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor of the balance or hearing nerves, according to the association. Acoustic neuroma struck former Fighting Illini offensive lineman Andrew Carter. Carter is still a UI student and helps out with the football program, Beckman said.

"They're just trying to help out a former teammate and the community," he added.

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SoCal ILL wrote on June 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

The Chief wasn't there... no one was saying they were the Chief.  Lighten up, Francis.  This PC crap i̶s̶ ̶g̶o̶i̶n̶g̶  has gone, way too far.  It's the history of the University and as much as Phyllis Wise would like to, you can't erase it.  It was a charity event.  Get over it. 

Moonpie wrote on June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

It's not "PC" to oppose racism, and the Chief was a racist symbol. A people are not mascots.But I fully expect a deluge of hate now here from the conservative neanderthals. Wave those Confederate flags and swastikas.

GlenM wrote on June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Even if the chief was racist, there was no chief at this event.  And your calling white conservatives subhuman and nazis is more racist and certainly more full of hate than the Chief could ever be, Moonpie.  Stop the hate.

Nice Davis wrote on June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Yeah, come on guys! Even though the particpants were student athletes on a team whose home games featured the Chief dance, and the competition was on the same field the Chief danced at, and they wore the team colors on their clothes and body paint, and they put on feathered headdresses, there is absolutely nooooooo connection to Chief Illiniwek. Nope. None whatsoever. Now let me tell you about the many distinctions between a mascot and a symbol...

GlenM wrote on June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

There is no Chief, was no Chief at this event, and never will be a Chief at any University of Illinois event.

So do you want to call our players racists?

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Suppose our mascot had been Little Sambo, a blackface minstrel figure, who was then banned. Then suppose these football guys had shown up with blackface makeup on. Would you then be saying, "This couldn't possibly be racist, there was no Little Sambo there"?

I mean, really, it's really almost depressing how the Chiefsters have descended to little games that wouldn't fool a five-year-old.

SoCal ILL wrote on June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Moonpie, you are about the most hateful,  intolerant person I've ever seen.  Coming from you that comment truly means nothing.

Joe American wrote on June 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

"Conservative neanderthals"?  Wow, talk about long as it's something that you conveniently don't agree with, then let me guess - it's not hate, right Moonbat?

use er name wrote on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Let me get this right...Native American=bad

Conservative Neanderthals(Select subset of extinct race)=Bad

Southern and German Senior Citizens=Good?? Selective little bit of race baiting there!!

Tom Napier wrote on June 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I agree it's not PC to oppose racism.  However, your blanket accusations fit the very definition of racism.  The name calling and inflamatory rhetoric is pretty darn hateful.  Perhaps you should read what you write before hitting that "save" button.  Speaking of Confederate flags, how is it the NCAA approves the name Tarheel?  Hey, you brought it up. 

Nice Davis wrote on June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I agree, the racist legacy of Chief Illiniwek can't be erased. But at least the stain won't seep into the university further now that the mascot has been shelved.

Remember folks, Chief hangers-on aren't ever racist towards Native Americans, even when they say that things like "wearing a shirt", "driving a car", and "using a fork" are white man things, and when Native Americans do it they're only imitating white people.

GlenM wrote on June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Ok so our players are racists, people who liked the Chief are racists, and townies are racists.  Anyone else you'd like to accuse?

Nice Davis wrote on June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I don't agree with any of those blanket statements you're ascribing to me, but I absolutely believe that Chief Illiniwek is a racist mascot. I say this as a townie who attended the U of I and grew up liking the Chief til around 2009.

We all carry racial prejudices to a greater or lesser extent. It's simply unavoidable in this culture. I try recognize my white privilege and minimize my own prejudices every day. One way I do this is by not supporting racial caricatures of marginalized minority groups.

I am still a huge fan of my school, our teams, and the players, even though some of them participated in this perpetuation of a racist tradition.

use er name wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

It is racial prejudice to prohibit or discourage Native American imagery, without prohibition of Non-Native American imagery. Especially since the whites are the problem, right?

   The objection to the Chief has always been racist in that the "probem" occurs only if a white guy wears the outfit. You would get laughed out of town If you walked up to an Indian and told him he would be committing some sort of though/hate crime for dressing up like a cowboy.

  Lets just get the rights to the Marlboro Man. It'll be cheap and will help improve public approval of smoking ahead of the legalization of the Natural Herb, that so many of the anti-Chief people so worship and desire.

jturner wrote on June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

This is a very interesting situation.  It is a non-university event, and in fact had coaching participation or monitoring occurred it may well be an NCAA violation.  Thus specific santions against the players, except being yelled at, may not be possible if no laws were broken.   The Chief is dead, long live the Chief.

jturner wrote on June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

This is a very interesting situation.  It is a non-university event, and in fact had coaching participation or monitoring occurred it may well be an NCAA violation.  Thus specific santions against the players, except being yelled at, may not be possible if no laws were broken.   The Chief is dead, long live the Chief.

Commonsenseman wrote on June 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

The Chief is not racist.  The real racists are the narowminded Chief haters!

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Worst attempt at a Karl Rove impersonation I've seen all day.

illiniearl wrote on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

It would sure be easier to get over the Chief's demise if the NCAA would apply the native american imagry and names ban across the board to all schools instead of granting "waivers" to the few remaining :  Florida State, Central Michigan, Utah, and Mississippit to name the big ones.   That's what makes it sting for those of us who loved our Chief.    The NCAA needs to correct this ridiculous double standard even if the depicting tribe says it's okay to continue to use their name - it must offend someone or some professor at their school.

jjohnson wrote on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

That some took the chief as being racist proves nothing about those who saw the chief as a symbol of honor, but one thing the chief never was was a "mascot." If anyone wants to start making accusations about racism let them get their facts straight, because otherwise they are simply engaging in ignorant prejudice, which itself pretty well defines what "racism" is. So stop saying "Mascot." Never was. This issue should be dead and buried; the chief is gone so far as the university is concerned, but in a community where "academic freedom" is such an exalted value, what about "freedom of speech" for those (of which I am not one) who wish to continue to sing affectionate praise and memory of the chief?

Nice Davis wrote on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Can you please explain to me how Chief Illiniwek is not a mascot? I honestly do not understand the distinction between mascot and symbol that Illiniwek supporters make.

Also, I'm not sure who your "freedom of speech" issue refers to. If it is the players themselves, then their First Amendment rights have conceivably been infringed. However, there is no substantial Illinois or Federal caselaw that supports a claim that student athletes engaging in this kind of speech have an actionable claim. Maybe they could file a suit and win, I dunno. If you are referring to Chief supporters not affiliated with the University, however, then your nod to "freedom of speech" is a red herring. "Freedom of speech" does not mean "freedom from your ideas being questioned, challenged, or even insulted".

jjohnson wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

Difference between a mascot and a symbol? Did you ever see the Chief other than as part of the half-time routine? Did you ever see the Chief walking along the sidelines during game time? Did you ever see the Chief trying to rally the crowd? Sorry you cannot understand that, and, of course it is the students' First Amendment rights. It has nothing to do with "actionable claims"; if you are a real lawyer and not trying to spout off, you would know that the First Amendment is not a matter of "actionable claims" by anyone but of restraint on government. Darned if I can figure what in heaven's name you mean by your last two sentences and how they figure into anything; anyone can insult whomever they wish, but sometimes it would be nice if a bit of fact-checking were done before doing the insulting. Given that the Chief's last "costume" was a gift from a Native American tribe, the "racist" comments should cause pause to those who utter them. My first amendment point is very simple: around my beloved U of I and most any other university, freedom of speech applies only to preferred content, which makes a mockery of academia's worship of "academic freedom." You doubt it? You just witnessed it. The university had no choice but to "end" the Chief ritual, but keeping it ended requires it to betray some important principles.

sanjuan wrote on June 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

Well, actually, before the issue started to heat up, the chief was routinely used for commercial purposes.  Is that a symbol or mascot?  I honestly don't know, but the use as a symbol is historically not nearly so pure as you suggest.  I have photos taken from a sponsored appearance at a department store as proof.

Nice Davis wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Re: mascot vs. symbol:
Is your argument that the difference between mascot and symbol is when they perform? That is not very compelling. Additionally, I would certainly say that the Chief rallied the crowd during his performance. Now he comes into the stands instead of staying on the field; is that a more mascot-like behavior? If not, why not? Maybe you draw the line between those characters that clown around and those that act with more gravitas, but that is not very compelling either.

The mascot/symbol distinction does not appear to convince anyone outside of the Chief supporters who cling to semantics as a point of support for their argument.


Re: The First Amendment
I am an attorney who has done some First Amendment on behalf of a government agency, so I can assure you I'm not just "spouting off". Surely you recognize that the First Amendment is not absolute, I hope. In the realm of voluntarily agreed-to codes of conduct by student-athletes, the government has fairly wide latitude to regulate conduct and behavior. Look at restrictions by coaches on athletes' contact with the press, or access to social media.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

"Can you please explain to me how Chief Illiniwek is not a mascot? I honestly do not understand the distinction between mascot and symbol that Illiniwek supporters make."

That's because there really isn't one. It was one of desperation gaffes from the Chiefers, kinda like "but I didn't inhale." Now they're stuck with it, dumb as it is.

Tom Napier wrote on June 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Getting facts straignt has never been among Chief opponents' high priorities. 

use er name wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

"more than a dozen players recently adorned their heads with Native American headdresses for a charity event"

   So basically  Native Americans made these headddresses for these individuals, thus a show of Native American approval.

   Or has a racist assumption been made that only Native Americans can make a headdress. Or wear one? Or that any headdress must be "Native American"

These could just as well have been made in The People's Republic of China and may in fact be "Chinese Headdresses". Or even in the People's Republic of Urbana; thus being "Organic Patchouli Scented, Tear-dampened  Headdresses" to whom all must have govenment sponsored access.

BTW, be sure to click the subcriber link here on the website for the News Gazette(

...."Start your News-Gazette eEdition subscription today! Sign up for the eEdition and receive a free copy of Are You Ready or Chief Illiniwek: A Tribute to an Illinois Tradition." 

coach32 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

I really don't get all the talk about the racial issues with mascots.  How often do you see or hear reports of native americans protesting the use of these mascots?  Not very often, in fact, there are many native americans that support the use of these mascots by schools.  You sure as heck don't see all the steel workers or cowboys in an uproar or a push to get rid of those types of mascots or complaints about people dressing up to support those mascots.  Why not?  Because people would think that is ridiculous that's why.  But isn't it basically the same thing?  Real cowboys didn't wear giant oversized ridiculous looking hats like the mascots do, but you don't hear anyone raising a fuss about that.  Next thing you know, the animal rights activists are going to start pushing for no more animal mascots because the animals have not always been treated fairly and the mascot symbol is not authentic enough to the real representation of the animal.  We will have to start having school mascots named after rocks or trees ("Go Pines Go!")........oh wait, wouldn't want to offend those nature freaks out there.  And as far as this article goes, can't we place a little more emphasis on what a great community service and fundraiser our University of Illinois student-athletes were participating in?  Instead we are too concerned about what they are wearing rather than applauding them for the good deed they were doing.  I say we need less criticism and more recognition!  Way to go U of I football team!

Nice Davis wrote on June 26, 2013 at 1:06 am

The reason that nobody complains about steelworkers or cowboys or animals or trees as mascots is because none of those things are an ethnic group that has suffered centuries of institutional oppression based on their heritage.

You know what would convince me that Chief supporters actually respect Native Americans? If Honor the Chief (or some other group of supporters) did literally anything to support distressed Native American communities or improve educational efforts about Native American history and culture, instead of just pursuing their narrow parochial interests of getting their guy back out on the field dancing. Chief supporters have done nothing to show any interest in Native American issues outside their attempts to recover their precious mascot and logo.

I would be delighted to be proven wrong on the foregoing point. I would love to see evidence that Chief supporters honor and respect the entirety of the Native American experience in this country, and not just the character that was initially created by someone riffing on his boy scout experiences back in the 20s. Please, somebody show me a link that Chief supporters are engaging with Native Americans beyond this mascot.

Tom Napier wrote on June 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Native Americans did participate in the development of the Chief tradition.  You've heard this before, but seem not to take that fact seriously.  Recently, the Council of Chiefs attempted to engage the Peoria.  However, Chief opponents and "the university" stonewalled that idea.  Perhaps they didn't bother to read about the scholarship and educational opportunities included in the proposal.  I guess the anti-Chiefers don't respect or trust the Peoria enough to develop a Native representation that is acceptable to them. 

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

"Native Americans did participate in the development of the Chief tradition."

Entirely different tribe, mind you. It's like saying that your French cooking is authentic because you learned it from a German. French - German - who cares? A European is a European, seen one, you seen 'em all, right? Oh, sorry, that apparently only applies to the Red Man.

"Recently, the Council of Chiefs attempted to engage the Peoria."

... too little, too late. Maybe the Peoria would be more open-minded about it if the Chief supporters finally admit, publicly, that yeah, Chief Illiniwek as we know him is simply too racist a caricature to continue, and it was right to retire him. Maybe then the Chiefsters would finally have some moral credibility on the topic.

Nice Davis wrote on June 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I haven't heard anything about the educational and scholarship opportunities you mention. Could you please provide a link? Like I said, I'd love to learn more. I couldn't find anything about non-Illiniwek-related education or scholarships on

ChiefForever wrote on June 26, 2013 at 5:06 am

Since the NCAA is so concerned about racist mascots, I am waiting for them to ban Notre Dame from using a leprechaun, which is actually a racial slur.  See

repeteil wrote on June 26, 2013 at 6:06 am

GET OVER IT!!  I think the coach needs to be more concerned about the way the team plays this year. We can't have any fun anymore because we are afaird of hurting someone.  Maybe people just need to stay in their homes, talk to no one, go no place but to the grocery store and that way no interaction with anyone and this would keep anyone from having hurt feelings. This sounds like a winner to me. Maybe we should stop helping people so that they can't have hurt feeling because one person got more than they got. What do you think?

Nice Davis wrote on June 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

Yeah, it is pretty silly how Chief supporters are unable to move on after six years and are still whining about their hurt feelings. I wish they'd get over it too.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Yeah, you do get the sense that they're about to float away on their own white privilege. You can't help but wonder whether any of them have ever spent, say, an entire week in a town where they the only one of their kind.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

"We can't have any fun anymore because we are afaird of hurting someone."

That and the fact that Illini football sucks popsicle sticks. I don't see lots of people getting "0-8 in the Conference" tattoos, do you?

The only Big 10 teams that didn't beat the pants off the Ignominious Illini were the ones the Illini didn't play.

Lance Dixon wrote on June 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

Stop comparing the chief to the notre dame mascot. The Irish were never slaughtered in mass by the US Government. We're talking women and children here.  The Irish were never relocated in mass and swept away into the most undesirable corners of a continent (heard of the Indian Relocation Act anyone?).  In my opinion, a government run institution with a Native American mascot is akin to a German soccer team with a Jewish Rabbi mascot. Similar mass executions, different century. Anyone who thinks the chief was honorable is turning a blind eye to history. 

SoCal ILL wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

But.... Chief Osceola is ok?  I can't speak for everyone, but it's the hypocrisy that makes me angry.

ChiefForever wrote on June 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm

So I guess racism is OK as long as it does not involve mass killing and relocation.  Thank you for the information.

Tom Napier wrote on June 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

The English brutalized the Irish.  If you have any Anglo ancestry, you share the guilt.  If you don't, you're off the hook.  However, if you are so concerned about the plight of Native Americans in the 19th Century, but are so unconcerned about the plight of the Irish during that same period, you profess a double standard, to put it mildly.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

"If you have any Anglo ancestry, you share the guilt."

There goes Tom Napier, slandering the whites again.

Illinifan4366 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

The young men on the football team raised $5,000.  Instead of berating them for wearing headdresses and having some fun, you should seek them out and shake their hands!  These young people are the future leaders and I trust most of them won’t spend their lives waiting to make comments on a page like this Mr. Moonstool!  Do you spend the other half of your day on Facebook?

I am a Father of one of the young men in the picture and as such I think your negative comments are idiotic and short sighted.

And no, these fine young people are not raising money for the “native people” but they are raising money by donating time and effort to help a cause.  What are you doing?  Don’t bother; I can answer for you – ZERO!

illiniearl wrote on June 27, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Your're right illinifan4366.   I appreciate your son's efforts and of those pictured.   Please pass along my sincere thanks and appreciation!   Hail to the Chief!

moderndaycowboy wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

Duh, I play football.

misanthrope wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

"Everything we do, we do for the university," Beckman said. Like dipping Skoal on the sideline, you jerk? What a clown.

cretis16 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Yes, and we employ censorship, unless it's something "The University" believes in.

Beem wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

I think everyone is missing a point that the university's athletic teams are still called the Fighting Illini. We just no longer have the Chief. Brave "fighting Illini" native Americans most likely wore headdresses, it wasn't limited to Chiefs. These players should be allowed to show support for their university's "nickname". If we want to totally do away with any native American reference, we should probably change the name of our state also.

itazurakko wrote on June 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I heard that "Fighting Illini" was originally about soldiers from Illinois fighting in World War One.


So clearly we should just have a new mascot in a WW1 uniform, he can prance and dance around the sidelines, hey, he can even put camouflage face paint on.


...or would that perhaps be insensitive?

Bwp 5P wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

Purdue Pete, Brutus Buckeye = MASCOT

Chief Illiniwek = SYMBOL


BIG difference

itazurakko wrote on June 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

You do know that the Daily Illini used to run cartoons where the Chief (in a loincloth, mohawk haircut, two-feather headband, jumping around with knives in his hands) interacted with the mascots of other universities (Bucky Badger and the Cal bear) in their own "universe" right?  They were characters in the same strips, interacting together.


The Chief has the knives to skin the Cal bear, who is alarmed.  In another strip he's loading a double barrelled gun to shoot Bucky, who is panicking at a poster where Bucky is "wanted - dead or alive, shoot on sight."  Later he ties a firecracker to the tail of "Ohio U. Bobcat," who is again panicking.  Illiniwek stands by, holding a tomahawk this time.


Those particular strips ran in 1951.  You can find scheduled appearances for the Chief to be at supermarket openings and the like, also.  Ads for local shops feature the Chief in their logos (often a profile view). 


Later on of course there's the "Campus Scout" column, which had a title graphic of an Indian, again with the single feather headband and loincloth, he's crouched to the ground as if tracking something, holding a big magnifying glass.


Big nosed profile Chief in a full headdress plus loincloth holding a tomahawk looking thing shows up in the 60's.


Point being, the "mascot" vs. "symbol" debate may have been introduced later, but the Chief definitely was interacting with characters that everyone fully considers mascots, as equals, with the same sort of joking treatment.

Tom Napier wrote on June 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm

This is an excellent example of how the University has responded to changing perceptions and evolved the Chief's persona over the years.  I wish both sides of the Chief issue were flexible enough to collaborate on an appropriate Native American representation. 

Oh yeah, that was proposed recently, but it was stonwalled by one of the sides.  Guess which one.


Nice Davis wrote on June 29, 2013 at 2:06 am

With enough tweaks, we can polish this turd right up!

jsc224 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

In the dictionary, racism is defined as the belief that one race is inferior to another.  Love and admiration for the power and beauty of the Chief is the opposite of racism.  Those who accuse others of racism should look up the definition of slander.

Illini1973 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 10:06 am
Profile Picture

Let's BringBacktheChief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Illinifan4366 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 10:06 am



Moderndaycowboy wrote on Feb 1, 2013: "There's no way I would EVER give up the perks of an AP job to join a union.  And quite frankly, I'm too educated to be in a union.  Sorry, I know that sounds elitist, but it's true.  I get rewarded fro my education by being an AP.  I was able to get a 17% raise many years ago as an AP.  That would never happen as a civil service employee.   Sounds like an AP is rewarded FRO - LOL.  What ever you make as an AP is too much!  Can't spell and insult others!  Class - Cl

moderndaycowboy wrote on June 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

You might want to check the grammar in your previous post before scolding me for a typo from a 5-month-old post. 

Bear8287 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

... and the NFL team for our Nation's Capital?

The Washington REDSKINS.  Nothing racist about that, is there?

Hypocrisy reigns...

itazurakko wrote on June 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

People who complain about the Chief definitely complain about the Washington Redskins and Chief Wahoo as well.  Of course all three are racist.


No hypocrisy at all.

Illinifan4366 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

You are the one with the mouth.  Why don't you sashay over to the field and make some comments in person sweetie.

Nice Davis wrote on June 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Oh yay, some good old-fashioned gay panic. Well done.

Bear8287 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Anyone interested in supporting our athletes and their charity work can make a donation here.

Go Illini!

cretis16 wrote on June 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Welcome to the UNITED STATES OF CRYBABIES. Go Illini, Go Chief.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

These guys are demonstrating that, yes, it's actually possible to sink lower than merely being on the Fighting Illini football team.

Tom Napier wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

OK, smart guy.  YOU train hours a day. YOU learn the playbook. YOU lift weights. YOU put on the pads and get the s...tuff knocked out of you on Saturdays.  YOU risk injury every time you step onto the field.  YOU get a degree while holding down what amounts to a full time job.  You've just made this personal by insulting young men WHO ARE ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE.  What does this say about YOU.  You can call me a racist all you want, and you have.  But back off the Student Athletes.  Clearly you don't have a clue about how low you, yourself, have just sunk by belittling these young men. 

moderndaycowboy wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Really, Tom, really? Maybe, just maybe, 10% of them actually take the academic part seriously. The rest will be lucky to graduate and spell their own name. "Student Athlete," as relates to big-time college football and basketball is an oxy moron. I'd elaborate, but I don't want to violate FERPA.......

spangwurfelt wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

"What does this say about YOU."

It means I'm not Julia Rietz, always ready to turn my back when it's an Illini football player caught breaking into someone's place.

Tuscola Max wrote on June 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm

They are football players, since they did not murder, rape, beat, steal, or do any of the things most football players get their names in the paper for, I think maybe they should get an award.

lwaisvisz wrote on June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Saw the picture, bought season tickets. Solely because political correctness can take a hike. The ONLY reason Chief Illiniwek is gone is because of MONEY. Hosting championships. The University doesn't give a flying pigs buttocks about anything but money. Not tradition, not anything...State Farm Center anyone??


Ever hear of the university "classic" collection? Keeping the copyright of chief Illiniwek...FOLLOW THE MONEY.


Nice Davis wrote on June 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I don't know whether to laugh at that fact that you're willingly handing over your money to an institution you criticize for being all about money, or to cry because apparently the only thing that can get you out of your home to support the team is spite.

itazurakko wrote on June 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Yep, I've definitely heard of the "classic" collection and I agree that it's about the University continuing to make money off the Chief, which should come for more criticism than it has.


I understand that the U needs to market something with the logo in order to keep the copyright, but they could easily sell say, baby shoes, or maybe commemorative plates at $200 a pop.


Selling faux vintage collegiate wear is actively using the logo to make money, and yes it should be pointed out that this is exactly what's going on.  We're agreed there I guess.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Maybe the University could go back to selling toilet paper with the Chief's face on it, just like there used to be back in the oh-but-we're-all-so-respectful-of-the-Chief days everybody keeps talking about.

Tom Napier wrote on June 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Any number of companies make sports logo toilet paper.  One of them did, the University requested they stop, and they did.  This product was inappropriate and unfortunate, but it had nothing to do with the University of Illinois or the Chief Illiniwek tradition.  It is really a non-issue.

You do raise an interesting point, however.  I'll have to see if they print Fighting Irish toilet paper.  I'll let you know.


spangwurfelt wrote on June 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

"but it had nothing to do with the University of Illinois or the Chief Illiniwek tradition."

Because, what, it had pictures of Tom Napier on it?

Gets back to the basic point. Unless and until the Chief's supporters admit - to themselves and others - that they're backing a racist mascot, and that their "he's an honored symbol, not a racist mascot" malarkey was all a last-minute rationalization as they saw their mascot slip away, they're in no position to point to others and call them "intolerant."

increvable wrote on June 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Your son and his teammates did a fine thing in raising money to treat a rare disease. They also did a dumb thing in putting on faux headdresses for a picture. There's nothing strange about praising them for the former and blaming them for the latter.

HOCKEYDAD wrote on June 27, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Reading these comments is like watching a train wreck. You want to look away, but you just can't. If the News Gazette was smart, instead of charging people to read articles on the digital version of the paper, it would just post a Chief story every week and charge to leave comments!

Tom Napier wrote on June 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I've been waiting to see anti-Chiefers' comments about the African American athletes wearing headdresses.  Apparently they don't think they're being racist bigots. 


Nice Davis wrote on June 29, 2013 at 2:06 am

Dunno where you got that wrong idea.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Shorter Tom Napier: "Help, help, I'm trapped in my life-long white majority privilege, and I just don't understand the issue of racism at all, because I have the majority luxury of not needing to know how race really works in America."

Tom Napier wrote on July 01, 2013 at 9:07 pm

By stereotyping me as having lived a life of privelge, being born white and in Du Page County and all, being inherently incapable of understanding anything about race and racism, and being morally inferior because of it, you are engaging in the very behavior you claim offends you.  You condemn stereotyping when it suites your fancy, but you engage in stereotyping ... when it suites your fancy.  This is why your arguements aren't at all compelling.  Just curious, not knowing me from Adam, how do you know I'm really a white, insensitive, racist, elitist, wealthy, bimmer-driving twit?   Gotta be the stereotype.

Nice Davis wrote on July 02, 2013 at 12:07 am

"How do you know I'm white?"

Because Google:

STM wrote on July 01, 2013 at 7:07 am

The "Chief" is not real.  It's pictures and logos and merchandising, and chanting, and dancing in non-native and historically inaccurate clothing. The chief is not a person and there's nothing to "honor."

I watch the silliness of people going through the motions at halftime and it's just sad.  Not that we have no chief but that the lives of chief supporters seems so empty.

The rest of us have moved on. This silly chief crap needs to be ignored.

Remember, the chief is not real. Now get over it.

Tom Napier wrote on July 01, 2013 at 8:07 pm

And who's stereotyping now?     In 2012, according to the NCAA, the 2012 Fighting Illini football team achieved a 76% graduation rate, about 10 points higher than the general student population.  The Fighting Illini basketball team achieved  a 100% graduation rate.  You may indulge in the big dumb jock stereotype if you wish.  It only shows what little respect you have for the University of Illinois, its programs, and its students.

Nice Davis wrote on July 02, 2013 at 12:07 am

Hahahaha, you're still whining about this? Very entertaining. Keep going and never stop.

Tom Napier wrote on July 06, 2013 at 11:07 am

I'm glad you're amused, but you haven't addressed the remarks stereotyping football players as dumb jocks who are barely capable of reading their own names?  So, do the facts support these allegations or not?  Select one: a) yes or b) no.

moderndaycowboy wrote on July 02, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Tom, I would suggest that you read Beer and Circus by Murray Sperber. Seriously, read it.

nick wrote on July 02, 2013 at 8:07 am

Does anyone know if any group of Native Americans has ever shown support for the performance of the chief?  I also wonder if any group of Native Americans,or any individual Native Americans have spoken in any public forum offering support for the concept of a chief as a symbol,or a mascot. Does anyone know in what year the chief first appeared at Illinois as a mascot or symbol? Has the University of Illinois ever made payments to any Native American group for using a Native American character to represent the University?  Thanks.

Tom Napier wrote on July 06, 2013 at 4:07 pm

The Chief Illiniwek traditon has a long history of collaboration with various Native American groups.  I suggest you read Judge Louis Garippo's "The Chief Illiniwek Dialog  Intent and Tradition vs. Reaction an History  A Report to the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois"  (although for some reason, this document seems to have disappeared from the University of Illinois website).  This includes the origins of the costume and dance at a Sioux reservation in North Dakota in 1928, through changes to the costume, through the presentation of a new costume by Frank Fools Crow to the University in 1982,  to the recent controversy.  Until recently, the Peoria Tribe in Oklahoma (the closest decendants to the Illiniwek) cosidered the Chief to be nothing but honorable.

As part of Judge Garippo's report, a debate was conducted at the University of Illinois.  Michael Haney, of the American Indian Arbitration Institute and a Chief opponent, indicated a compromise could probablly be fashioned.  However, upon being confronted by Chief protesters outside the debate venue, Mr. Haney then said there could be no compromise.

The current Chief Illiniwek, Ivan Dozier, is a Native American, Cherokee on his father's side.  Also, there have been numerous petitions and referenda conducted in support of the Chief.  The vast majority of commentors in newspaper articles, Facebook, blogs, etc. were favorable to the Chief, and a significant number of those comments came from people of Native American ancestory.  

The Council of Chiefs, consisting of former Chiefs Illiniwek, recently proposed to the Peoria Tribe that a representation of the Illiniwek, different from the traditional Chief, be researched and developed in collaboration with the Peoria -- similar to how the Aztec Warrior replaced the former Monty at San Diego State University.  The Peoria were receptive to this proposal if it was acceptable to the University of Illinois.  It is the University of Illinois, not the Peoria Tribe, who are not moving forward on this proposal. 

tntsher wrote on July 02, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Another great case of the few "offended, overly vocal minority" deciding what, in their minds, is offensive, racist or "politically correct". What a great phrase.....POLITICALLY CORRECT!!!! You know that 20 years ago NO ONE was OFFENDED by the CHIEF. The CHIEF was an HONORED tradition, a SYMBOL of a great institution and the state that it serves. No there is no one tribe that the CHIEF represents, there were so many various tribes in this area of the country that the CHIEF was meant to be an ambassador of all, a symbol of the heritage of this land called "ILLINOIS" I am not a full-blooded Native American, but my grandmother was, and I would much rather have a symbolic presentation, in authentic clothing, doing an authentic celebration dance depicting my culture than some half cocked war dance with horses and cowboys. Most of you don't even really know what it is about CHIEF that upsets you. One of you even says you were a fan of CHIEF until 2009......well what big epiphany changed your mind? Was it the winds of "political correctness"....needing to fight a cause makes you feel better about yourself? Don't feel you need to fight on behalf of Native Americans because probably 90% or more of us with Native American heritage are NOT offended by the CHIEF. What is most offensive in my mind is people simply joining a "cause celebrity" to argue and fight against what bothers them personally, but would not lift a finger to really do something to help, in a meaningful way, those Native Americans that do need a helping hand.     

Tom Napier wrote on July 05, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Oh my gosh, I AM white!!!

OK, you got me there.  Now, how do you know I'm a wealthy, privileged, bigotted, racist, scumb dog elitist snob (or was it twit ... either will do)?  From DuPage County?

And, thanks for the link, I didn't know that one was out there.  I'll send it to my mother.