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Exeter Chiefs Ban Chant As Rebrand Of Controversial Image Continues

Exeter Chiefs Ban Chant As Rebrand Of Controversial Image Continues
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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Exeter Chiefs have taken a further step in dismantling their controversial Native American branding, by deciding to drop their 'Tomahawk Chop' chant.

The chant is played over loudspeakers on match days while the crowd sing along and perform a 'chopping' motion with their hands. But due to increasing criticism during the last number of years over 'cultural appropriation', Exeter Chiefs have begun to rebrand their club.

The most substantial change so far has been to the club's crest, where they have removed the image of a Native American and replaced it with the image of a Celtic Dumonii chieftain.

Exeter Chiefs Rebrand

16 April 2022; Joe Simmons of Exeter Chiefs, supported by teammate Henry Slade during the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 Second Leg match between Munster and Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Speaking with The Times, Exeter Chief's chairman, Tony Rowe, spoke about the scale of the cost of rebranding, but also acknowledged that the club will continue to proceed with changes.


“We made the choice to do it this year ready for next season and everything was planned so that the change date would be July 1. That was before that mad bloody Russian man said he wanted to invade [Ukraine] and cause the biggest problem in the world. He’s going to put most of us into a recession.


“If we’d have known that at the time, we’d have probably thought: ‘This is a lot of money that we can ill-afford’. But, never mind. We said it, we’ve started it and the processes are in place. We’ve got to see it through, you know. I’ve got a really good commercial department. They went through the whole lot a long time ago and put together a great long list of things that had to be changed.

“We’ve prioritised certain things like the public-facing stuff and we’ve just got to deal with the not-so-important stuff as we go on through the season. It’s going to end up somewhere between half a million and a million pounds. It’s not just changing the logo, as such, there are other things associated with it.

"You can’t expunge history. People have asked me if we’re going to stop them wearing their old shirts – of course we’re not, but life has moved on. Some people find it [native American imagery] unacceptable and we’re happy to change.”


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