U of Illinois Quandry: “Hostile and Abusive” Chief Mascot Has Big Fanbase

Aug 14, 2016 by

Is a harsh crackdown looming for Chief Illiniwek’s diehard fans?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign banned its mascot, Chief Illiniwek, in 2007 after the NCAA deemed it portrayal of a Native American as “hostile and abusive.” And earlier this year, the chancellor announced the university will choose a new mascot. Despite those efforts, the symbol simply won’t disappear.

Now the University is reportedly considering severe new penalties for students who persist in dressing as Chief Illiniwek or displaying his image — penalties up to and including expulsion.

Fans have persistently continued to don apparel displaying the Chief’s visage, and some show up at games dressed up in stereotypical Native American garb. A Facebook group called Students for Chief Illiniwek has nearly 2,000 likes, and on its page, one alumnus wrote that he “will support the Chief Illiniwek until the day I die. I’ve had about enough with the ‘thought police’ and all that they stand for.”

The mascot’s loyalists have outraged others on campus, according to numerous records reviewed by Heat Street.

Source: U of Illinois Quandry: “Hostile and Abusive” Chief Mascot Has Big Fanbase

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