Exeter make huge announcement regarding rebranding following racism petition
Exeter Chiefs have finally come out with a decision following a petition this month calling for them to undergo a rebrand of their logo featuring a native American chief.
The petition has gained almost 2000 signatures this month after backing from local MP Ben Bradshaw.
The news has just come out in the last few hours.
Exeter Chiefs have said that they will be ‘reviewing’ their official branding this month after protests from fans.
The clubs directors will discuss the issue at the end of this month – responding to a vocal outcry from fans calling for the logo to be changed as it is deemed to be using ‘cultural appropriation’.
The petition titled, ‘Asking Exeter Chiefs to drop its racist use of Indigenous Peoples’ imagery & branding‘ has gathered pace in recent weeks and has been a huge topic of debate in rugby circles.
Exeter are still yet to comment publicly on the matter and it is said that they will continue not to do so until the topic has been brought up with the board.
the creator of the petition, Ash Green, feels there is still more to be done by Exeter
Up until this point “no comment” has been the approach from @ExeterChiefs.
Whilst it’s great that – apparently – the Club is considering this issue at their Board meeting this month, it has STILL not made a public statement on this, which is shocking, but not surprising… https://t.co/SSQ1SZMhud
— Ashley (@ashleynsg92) July 8, 2020
The petition reads,
This is a petition started by supporters of Exeter Chiefs:
Exeter Chiefs is a fantastic club that has seen a huge amount of success on the pitch and done a lot of good off it for decades. It’s one of Exeter’s most well known brands and has put the city firmly on the sporting map. The club MUST address its use of offensive and harmful imagery and branding.
There is no place in a predominantly white British environment for appropriation of Indigenous Peoples‘ imagery that has no relation whatsoever to the history of the club, or the city. The ‘Chiefs’ brand dates back to 1999, a decision that was not taken with racism in mind, but one that is now sat increasingly awkwardly at the pinnacle of English rugby.
some fans feel the logo change is inevitable in the coming weeks
— Sandra tilley (@SandymSm7) July 8, 2020
The stylised Chief on the club’s crest, the ‘Big Chief’ mascot, the headdresses and tomahawks adorning the supporters, and the ‘Tomahawk Chop’ chant are all examples of cultural appropriation of the Indigenous Peoples who were all but wiped out by white European settlers and who still suffer extreme examples of racial prejudice today, across the world.
There is a huge amount of correspondence from Indigenous Peoples making it very clear that they find the use of their sacred rites and iconography in these contexts deeply harmful and offensive.
The club doesn’t even need to change its name – Exeter Chiefs could refer to the Celtic Chiefs who inhabited the city and contributed to its rich and diverse history. It is the imagery that must change.
There is huge potential for the club to seize the positivity around the BLM movement, to take ownership of a branding decision that is now very clearly on the wrong side of history. There’s no need to change the name just the logo, which would:
Generate positive press by addressing the issues of cultural appropriation and showing awareness and a proactive desire to bring about positive change;
Involve the community in the rebrand, making people feel involved in the identity of their local club, which will be inspired by local history;
Generate revenue for the club through sales of merchandise featuring the new branding.
Help us ensure our fantastic club has a long and successful future under a brand that we can all be proud of.
We’ll keep you updated on this fast-moving story as it develops