Exeter Chiefs to retire ‘Big Chief’ but retain current name and logo
PUBLISHED: 18:26 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:26 29 July 2020
Exeter Chiefs have announced that they are to retain both the club’s current name and logo, but they are to ‘retire’ the club mascot.
The decision was made at a board meeting held on Wednesday at which the matter was discussed followed calls from some of the club’s supporters for the Chiefs to lose their Native American branding.
A petition signed by more than 3,700 had asked the club for the ‘harmful’ branding to be removed by the club.
Some fans had launched counter petitions arguing against any change.
The board did, however, decide their ‘Big Chief’ mascot would be retired.
Here is the Exeter Chiefs statement issued after a board meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
‘The Exeter Rugby Club board today underwent a detailed review of the club’s branding following issues raised by the group Exeter Chiefs 4 Change.
The process has included looking into lengthy submissions from those who wish to see immediate change and from those who are content that the current branding is not disrespectful to indigenous groups.
A detailed dossier of all evidence was compiled ahead of today’s meeting and was seen by all members of the board and reviewed.
Part of the club’s review has seen the club engage with its sponsors and key partners to seek their views – and they have also listened to the response of our supporters, the wider rugby community and certain sections from the Native American community, all of whom have provided us with detailed observations in letters, emails, social content and videos.
Content provided to the board indicated that the name Chiefs dated back into the early 1900s and had a long history with people in the Devon area.
The board took the view that the use of the Chiefs logo was in fact highly respectful. It was noted over the years we have had players and coaches from around the world with a wide range of nationalities and cultures. At no time have any players, coaches or their families said anything but positive comments about the branding or culture that exists at the club.
The one aspect which the board felt could be regarded as disrespectful was the club’s mascot ‘Big Chief’ and as a mark of respect have decided to retire him.
The club will be making no further comment on the matter.’
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