Hawaii coach uses gay slur in reference to Notre Dame, then apologizes

By Chadd Cripe

SALT LAKE CITY — Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin said Thursday at the WAC media football preview that Notre Dame did “this little faggot dance” at a banquet the night before last year’s Hawaii Bowl. Click here to hear what McMackin said. (WARNING, EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

McMackin used the term “faggot” three times while explaining why Notre Dame was so fired up to play Hawaii in the game, which the Fighting Irish won 49-21.

McMackin responded to the Notre Dame clapping tradition by having his players do the ha’a, an intense Polynesian dance and chant the Warriors do before games.

McMackin said Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis got up at the banquet and told the crowd, “We do something special at Notre Dame.”

“And they get up and they do this little cheer, like this,” McMackin said Thursday, doing a rhythmic clap. “You know, this little faggot dance.”

Once McMackin saw Notre Dame’s team demonstration, he gave his players the signal — the shaka — to do their ha’a.

That's what inspired Notre Dame, the coach said.

“I screwed up. And I’ll never do this again,” he said of having his players do the dance. “… It was the best (ha’a) I’ve ever seen. I mean, they’re on their chairs, they have beads on, they’re ripping their beads off. I mean, it was a little scary. I think Notre Dame watched that and said, ‘We better have ourselves ready,’ because they really played a good game.”

McMackin made his comments in front of about a dozen reporters, most with voice recorders, and a WAC video camera. He then tried to convince reporters not to write about his comments.

Last year, the first-year coach let slip the name of a committed recruit whom he was not allowed to talk about. He immediately realized his mistake and the reporters covering the event agreed to let that go.

“Just please … cover for me,” McMackin said Thursday. “Go ahead, say ‘faggot dance.’ No. Please cover for me on that, too — right Karl? I’ll deny it. Anything else?”

Karl referred to WAC commissioner Karl Benson, who was in the room when McMackin concluded his comments.

Moments later, McMackin returned and made a short, informal statement.

“I want to officially, officially apologize,” he said. “Please don’t write that statement I said as far as Notre Dame. The reason is, I don’t care about Notre Dame. But I’m not a — I don’t want to come out and have every homosexual ticked off at me. You know what I mean. Because I don’t have any problem with homosexuals. But I apologize for saying that and I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t run that word. If you said dance, that’s OK. But don’t use the bad term that I chose, please. Thank you.”

Two sports editors were in the room. A third was contacted by telephone. All agreed the comments should be reported.

The WAC recorded all coach press conferences for its Web site, but has no plans to post McMackin’s.

Once it was clear that McMackin’s comments would be reported, he made another statement to the media. Listen to it here.

“I would sincerely like to apologize for the inappropriate verbage, words that I used,” he said. “… I’m really ticked off at myself for saying that. I don’t have any prejudices and it really makes me mad that I even said that and I’m disappointed in myself. … What I was trying to do was be funny and it’s not funny and even more it isn’t funny to me. I was trying to make a joke and it was a bad choice of words and I really — I really, really — feel bad about it and I wanted to apologize. I’m going to apologize to my team. I’m going to apologize to the people in Hawaii.”

A Notre Dame spokesman said the school likely would not comment.

Benson said the WAC has rules regarding sportsmanship with penalties including suspension, but he plans to let the University of Hawaii deal with McMackin’s comments first.

“This will primarily be a University of Hawaii issue,” he said. “There is a sportsmanship piece in our code that may apply. At the appropriate time, we will address it.”

The University of Hawaii chancellor and athletics director have issued statements about Coach McMackin's remarks. Read their statements here.


What a fool.


Perhaps if the Hawaiians weren't doing this traditional chant on opposing teams logos and fields then the Notre Dame people wouldn't have made fun of it. I have no problem with their tradition, but do it in the right way in the right place.
Opposing teams have asked them not to do it ON their fields and yet they persist. Sounds like he's a whiny (blank) and now it's biting him in the butt.

Hmmm... pot meet kettle?

You mean some teams do absurd things on the field, like perhaps BSU beating some silly hammer onto an opposing team's logo? Is that a good example? Maybe they shouldn't be doing that either. It's not the right way or right place, to quote your comment.



Sounds like the Rainbow Warrior calling the kettle black.

Bigotry is alive and well in football. Lovely.

I would be so happy to have my son playing for somebody like Coach McMackin. It's particulary nice to know that, if my son happened to be an outstanding player who is also gay, he would be so welcome by such a supportive coach.

McMackin, nobody says you have to like gay people, but how about just trying not to look like an idiot? Too much to ask? And why do we keep assuming these guys are role models?

No sympathy

I have no sympathy for Hawaii or their classless (and clueless) coach. Hawaii is consistently one of the most classless teams (and fanbases) in college football. I'm sure their coach feels free to act the way he does because of the environment in which he works. Most coaches wouldn't have a job after a string of remarks like that. I doubt Hawaii's administration will do a thing about it.

I'm no fan of Notre Dame, but I sure enjoyed watching them smack Hawaii around last year in the Hawaii Bowl.

No excuse

he should be fired.


I am in no way a Hawaii fan, or Notre Dame, for that matter, but I must say, GET OVER IT!

Vet4869 said BFD

I agree with the Vet. So what? Most of you don't like the WAC anyway. So what do you care who says what over there in Hawaii or out of Idaho (southern Idaho anyway and just so it isn't against BSU)? If McCrakin does not like gays (openly)who cares? WTG Vet4869

It's funny

What's the big deal? Gays call themselves by that term all the time. If it's good for them, what's the problem?

It's like the N-word. If black people don't like it, they themselves shouldnt use it either. You cant have it both ways. The terms are either always prohibited or always acceptable. Make a decision and stick with it.

Double standards are running amok! Crazy.

Why the difference?

Why is it Hawaii's coach uses the word faggot and he is tagged as being a racist. Yet Chadd Cripe can use the word in this article (as did I just now)? How bad is the word if you can say it in one forum, but not in another? If the coach had used the "N" word, could Chadd or I be able to spell it out in this forum? What if the coach said the "F-bomb"? Could we justifiably spell it out here and now?

Imus lost his job for saying "nappy headed ho's", but I can say it all day long and it won't get "bleeped".

We live in an overly politically correct and paraniod world, and its really quite silly.

You are right

As I said above, folks need to decide what is acceptable or prohibited, and require ALL people to abide by it.

Who cares?

And this is news because...? Political correctness is a disease. What happened to free speech? Oh, it's only free if it doesn't hurt someone's feelings? WATBs...

What a joke. Stay classy Hawai'i

Hawai'i's dance is becoming a joke. At last years game at BSU, the Warriors were told when they needed to clear the field so the marching band could begin the time-scripted pre-game festivities. When time came for the band to march down the field, the Hawai'i team was still dancing and some members of the band were forced to go around them. When the Hawai'i team finally left the field they were eye-balling and sizing up members of the band and even the dance team. OOOOh, big tough footballers trying to intimidate some college girls. Hawai'i acts like this dance is a time honored tradition when it's contemporary origins date all the way back to a couple years ago. Hawai'i should grow up and learn to get some class and that starts with the head coach.


Why post this story? It does no good. I think we are all dumbier for having read it.

Macklin's comments

Aloha, I am a native son of Hawaii and am fortunate to live in your Beautiful Idaho part of the year. Having said that, I have been embarassed about our football "programs", coaches,and their antics on and off the field. This Ha'a they do was started by June Jones, it is polynesian,but it is not Hawaiian. I am not even sure how authentic it is. I believe a lot of it appears to be Maori in origin,mixed up w/ Samoan dance.But hey, I am sure Macklin will continue as coach w/ his million buck salary.


I for one, am certainly dumbier for having read....something.

On a side note, while I do think being "politically correct" has gotten to be a little bit of overkill, when you are a Division 1 college football coach, at a press conference, you just can't say things like that. Even in a country that should and does promote free speech, using that term, in the role that he serves, is just wrong.

But you know, whatever, go gaybow, er i mean rainbow, er, i mean just go Warriors!!!!!! mmhmm mmhmm mmhmm


You mean slamming and ridiculing gays is no longer the right thing to do?

Wow! Who would have thunk? Of course, we still have Idaho.

Just not right

The real problem here isn't the actual use of the term. If he wants to use it around his home or with his friends, that is fine. Sometimes we are too uptight about being politically correct.

However, in this case he is not only representing his football team, he is representing the University of Hawaii and the state of Hawaii as a state employee. That is when the use of the term becomes inappropriate. If I was speaking publically and representing my company at a media event and used that language, I would most likely be fired. I'm not saying he should be, but many people would.

This is just another long list of incidents that continues to show the UH football team and people associated with it (including fans) as classless individuals. As a resident of Hawaii, I see it all the time and am generally disappointed with the team. I now have lost respect for coach Mac.

By the way, the Ha'a that the team does is similar to ancient dances that were done in preperation for battle. However, the current one is a hodpodge taken from different cultures and strewn together, therefore minimizing its historical and cultural value.

I'm not saying the guy should be fired....

That's up to the people in Hawaii who hired him. I am just amazed that someone who makes that kind of money and represents a university program would behave in such an idiotic, unprofessional manner.


Oh, well, what can you expect from a team that's known nationwide (perhaps worldwide) in newspapers and conversation as the Rainbows?

Just another reason...

...I can't wait to beat them again this year. What a dumb thing to say.

That word

comes from the Colonial times. It refers to a bundle of sticks for firewood or kindling bound together with twine or string. Just my $.02.....Sunny...


The reason for the usage can be attributed to the preface, "flaming". I have a gay friend who matter of factly told me he was gay but got all that flaming crap out of his system while he was young.

There is no life in Idaho...it is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

This Won't Make Any New Friends

As for the Ha'a, I like it. It's unique, intimidating, and artistic. A shorter version might be better received by opposing teams, though.
Coach MaMackin's comments were objectionable, but it's interesting, to me, that gays use the word "F-----" amongst themselves, just as some black brothers call each other "N-----", but are offended if anyone else does. Nothing wrong with that, but it is kind of odd.


who really cares?!


is retard off the board now too?


YOU CAN USE tard in the place of retard.


MAYBE he should have said aggot! "That aggot dance"? oh I really don't care either way. This was a story and come this time next week noone is going to care.

To much like Utah State Aggies

R U making fun of the way they are dancing down there in Logan? Aggot Dance that's a good one. here's to another great Bronco season.

At least the Church isn't against dancing...bet it's funny tho.

There is no life in Idaho...it is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

Dead man walkin' ...

In a liberal state like Hawai'i he is dead meat ... can you imagine the reaction the next time Hawai'i plays at San Jose State ???

"Whistle and clipboard, coach !!"


In a room full of reporters. Can't get dumber than that. And then begging for people to cover it up. PATHETIC. But honestly.... I think this whole hawaii thing is wierd. It's like vegas people! IT is all fake. There are no "headhunters" rowing from island to island throwing virgins in volcanoes. But hawaii survives by this image for tourism. Grown men playing jungle and then believing it. The fact that hawaii does thier dance before a game when most of thier player would not subscribe to this "religion" is just proof that it is all for show and this idiot coach just got his realities mixed up.

Lost in this is the idea that this coach didn;t even know his own players names. Appeared mentally unprepared and was talking about a dance before a game LAST YEAR. Good luck this year hawaii.

OOOOOO. That's OMG BUFFY territory...he got blunts maybe?

There is no life in Idaho...it is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

What is

Also laughable is the idea that he thinks Notre Dame won becasue his little dance frightened them into playing better. How about you just got schooled and run down and drug to the ground by the ridiculous squirell's nests than hang from the back of UH's helmets.

A coach who thinks a DANCE decides anything on a field. NOw who is the fruit?

Faggot Dance

I love what he said. Wish he would not have appoligized.


Why? Why would you LOVE what he said? Are you that much of a living waste of trash to LOVE those comments? Go drown yourself in alchohol before you commit suicide please.

If he has earrings, makeup, his own jet airplane and $1M, SURE!

There is no life in Idaho...it is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

Salt Lake Tribune

Nice little article on the Broncs today in the Salt Lake tribune.


Great article...

Thanks for the suggestion!

Is this PC thing getting a

Is this PC thing getting a bit old? People need to stop caring so much what other people say, and care more about what they do. We are a society of the coddled. The press as well needs to quit sensationalizing everything that goes happens. I can guarantee Wies has been called much much worse in in years with ND. Get over it, Im sure he already has.


"Once McMackin saw Notre Dame’s team demonstration, he gave his players the signal — the shaka — to do their ha’a.

That's what inspired Notre Dame, the coach said."

He is telling the story about how when he gave the hang loose sign that they scared Notre Dame into playing better. What a joke! I think he is just trying to sound so cool. Like "then I gave my guys the signal and that was my mistake, not coaching or talent. ( Hey guys, like me. See I'm so cool.) Actually kind of pathetic. Keep thinking that way and not focusing on on field stuff and see where that gets you.
That UH coach can sure corriagraph (I know) a great dance. Perhaps it isn't a slur at all. Perhaps just like some people pointed out here it is ok when homosexuals call eachother those words.

Aloha can mean many things:

Aloha can mean many things: Hello, Goodbye, with love, mercy. My own personal take on the Aloha Spirit is; it is a variation of the Golden Rule, with a Hawaiian twist. "Treat others like you would like to be treated, and give them the shirt off your back if they need it".hawaii volcano tours