Exeter to change the Chief's look
NEWS: English Premiership club Exeter Chiefs has decided to abandon their controversial Native American branding from July.
Exeter agreed to conduct a review of their imagery, which was widely criticised for disrespecting indigenous people in North America.
Chiefs fans had been asked by opposition clubs not to wear the symbolic headdress to their grounds.
The National Congress of American Indians wrote to Exeter Chairman Tony Rowe last year to say that the current branding “harms native people through the offensive stereotypes it promotes”.
Exeter, who won the European Champions Cup in 2020, have a Native American on the club badge and also feature the Wigwam Bar and Campfire Grill in their Sandy Park stadium.
Exeter is now set to change their logo and, while the Chiefs nickname is to be retained, the club said it will be aligned with the Celtic Iron Age Dumnonii Tribe.
The Tribe encompassed an area covering Devon, where Exeter is based, Cornwall and parts of Somerset for centuries before the Roman occupation from 43AD.
“We are excited to welcome in the next era of rugby within Exeter. Exeter has and always will be the most important term in our overall identity,” Rowe said on Thursday.
“The term Chiefs, however, is equally entrenched in our make-up, going back to over a century ago when teams in this region would regularly call their first teams that of the Chiefs. We are Exeter, we are the Chiefs!
“As a rugby club we have been willing to listen, we have consulted far and wide, and now we are ready to invoke change.”
In the United States, Washington’s NFL team dropped their controversial Redskins name and logo in 2020, opting to be known as the Washington Football Team.
Also criticised for their Native American branding, Cleveland’s Major League baseball team changed their name from the Indians to the Guardians this year.