Exeter Chiefs look set to drop their Native American-themed branding, after consulting the club’s membership at an annual general meeting on Wednesday.
According to The Guardian, 70 per cent of feedback from fans via email was in support of a change to the club’s branding, amid criticism of the Chiefs’ usage of Native American imagery.
Exeter released a statement following the AGM, announcing that they will come to a decision on the club’s branding within the next few weeks.
Exeter Chiefs release a statement.
“After consulting and listening in depth to the membership of Exeter Rugby Club at Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will now go away and further consult with its stakeholders, partners and professional advisors to decide what the club will do next in terms of the club’s branding,” the statement reads.
“The board will be meeting within the next few weeks to come to a decision. At this time, the club will be making no further comment.”
CLUB STATEMENT: @ExeterChiefs release the following statement following last night’s AGM https://t.co/4H4qa80dae pic.twitter.com/oFBNnqkCLI
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) November 25, 2021
Major Native American organisation called on Exeter to change their branding.
Exeter have been embroiled in controversy over their branding for a while now, but they actually decided to retain their Native American-themed imagery after a review last year, although they did retire their mascot, ‘Big Chief’.
Earlier this month the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest American Indian and Alaska Native organisation in the USA, joined the chorus on those calling on Exeter to change their branding.
“We are writing to inform you that our objections extend to the branding employed by the Exeter ‘Chiefs’, specifically the logo, the venue names (e.g. the ‘Mohawk Bar’), the headdresses, and other uses of Native ‘themed’ collateral,” the NCAI’s letter reads.
“The NCAI requests your support to retire all of the Native ‘themed’ imagery associated with the mascot branding of the Exeter ‘Chiefs’ Rugby Club.”
The Chiefs had so far resisted changing their branding, but that resistance looks set to come to an end.
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