The police action came after a pair of officers unsuccessfully attempted to disperse the dozen or so performers who were blocking an exit after the Union-Uintah game on Thursday night (local time), the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The group in Roosevelt, a town of 8000, had travelled more than 150 kilometres east from the Salt Lake City area to watch a relative play his final game for Union, which lost to rival Uintah and finished the season without a victory.
The group reportedly was trying to boost Union’s morale with the haka as the players left the field.
Spectators, coaches and players told police that everything was fine and they should let the men perform, Jessica Rasmussen said, but officers asked them to make room and started using pepper spray.
There are videos at the link of various hakas performed by rugby teams, and while I’d be slightly alarmed if someone, say, came into my living room and started one up, I’m somewhat puzzled by what kind of imminent threat it presented outdoors at a game.