Drill team no longer performing at Trump inauguration

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A well-known Chicago drill team will not be performing at the presidential inauguration.

Earlier this week, the South Shore Drill Team accepted an invite to be part of the festivities for President-elect Donald Trump.

The team performed at President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration, but this year is different.

"It's in our best interest if we did not go," Dr. Clifton Underwood, senior advisor to the South Shore Drill Team, said.

Underwood said it's about logistics such as transportation and hotel rooms.

"It's rushed and usually when you rush things at the last minute it doesn't work out good and we don't want to take that chance," Underwood said.

But on January 2, the team's news release declared 35 members were headed to D.C.

"As a nonprofit organization, we take no political sides - we view this as an opportunity for our young people to see Washington, D.C. and be a part of history," the release said.

After the announcement, Underwood admits critics blasted the team.

A team spokeswoman said the backlash included emails, angry phone calls and voicemails.

They said people were upset with Trump and his comments about the African-American community.

"This is about our kids. They didn't vote for anybody. They didn't have anything to do with the election," Underwood said.

Now, though, the team isn't going. Underwood says they did not cave in to community pressure.

"If they think it's a bad decision not to go, so be it. If they thought it was a bad decision that we went, so be it," he said. "We do it what we have to do and we still have an impeccable record. So we're fine."
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.