Footage of the Arizona Wildcat's rendition of Ka Mate has gone viral and sparked a debate among Kiwis on Facebook asking if American college football teams should be adopting the New Zealand rugby tradition of a pre-game haka.

The haka was performed by the college football side ahead of their recent match against UCLA. The tradition was started in 2009 by Pacific Islanders who played for the team.

Other US teams including Brigham Young University and the University of Hawaii also share the pre-game haka as part of the build-up to their college football matches.

"Do they even know what the haka represents?" Geoff Russel wrote on the Facebook page.


"It's a ritual unique to New Zealand, and a part of our culture! Their amateur rendition is an insult."

Josh Campbell echoed a similar sentiment: "This is such an embarrassment, please just leave it to us Kiwis."

However, others were proud that the team were embracing a significant part of Māori culture.

Matt Tonkin commented: "You could be offended by it, or you could be proud that they feel like it's something that can lift them before a game."

"They did it with the best intentions I reckon. No harm in trying," Mahera Rawhiti said on Facebook.

Lance Nuku wrote: "I think it's good. At least a part of the Māori culture will live on."

"They understood the intention of the haka," wrote Facebook user Wahine No Aotearoa. "And it's not deliberately disrespectful like the hakarena."

Dez Anahera agreed, saying: "That was a good haka and I felt that guys mana."


Others said the Wildcats need to learn the haka properly before they performed it again.

"Do it right, or leave it alone," wrote Ken Vano.

What do you think? Join the conversation on Facebook.

A number of college football teams in the US have adopted the New Zealand rugby tradition of a pre-game haka.Watch the Arizona Wildcats football team perform Ka Mate before their game against UCLA.

Posted by on Sunday, September 27, 2015