UMD hockey fans warned after "smallpox blankets" chant during Fighting Sioux series

UMD student hockey fans have a proud tradition of making asses of themselves.
UMD student hockey fans have a proud tradition of making asses of themselves.

University of Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey student season ticket holders have been warned they could have their season tickets confiscated if they repeat the ugly behavior displayed during a series against the University of North Dakota earlier this month.

The series came just days after UND readopted the controversial Fighting Sioux nickname, and UMD fans were apparently in the mood to fight controversy with controversy.

During a February 11 game, UND fans visiting Duluth for the series reported that they heard fans in UMD's student section chanting "smallpox blankets" and other racist phrases at UND's mascot.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that some North Dakota fans were offended by the "over the top" behavior, while others played it down as indicative of the fact that "everybody has a few silly fans." But Bob Nielson, UMD's athletic director, is determined to make sure student ticket holders tone it down.

"Smallpox blankets! clap*clap*clapclapclap" -- UMD fans.
"Smallpox blankets! clap*clap*clapclapclap" -- UMD fans.

Last week, he sent a letter to student season ticket holders characterizing the smallpox blankets chant as "hostile and racist" and said a repeat of such behavior in the future could result in immediate removal from the arena.

If the past is precedent, then ushers better be prepared to start yanking students from UMD games. In 2009, UMD student fans received a similar warning from the AD after they chanted "faggot" during a game against Minnesota State-Mankato.

Apparently, cultural sensitivity isn't a popular topic up at UMD.

-- Fate of UND's controversial Fighting Sioux nickname may be determined by referendum

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