Exeter to drop Native American branding and keep ‘Chiefs’ moniker

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English Premiership club Exeter Chiefs will drop their Native American-themed branding this summer after criticism from fans, the club announced on Thursday.

The club said its new branding will feature the Celtic Iron Age Dumnonii tribe who once inhabited Devon and Cornwall.

“Times are changing and so are we – now is the time to move on!” Exeter said in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome the next era of rugby to Exeter,” said chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe.

“Exeter has been and always will be the most important term in our overall identity. The term Chiefs, however, is also embedded in our roster, dating back over a century ago when teams in this region regularly called their first teams that leaders. We are Exeter, we are the leaders!”

In 2020, the Exeter Chiefs for Change supporters group led calls for the club to shed its branding.

The club later dropped its ‘Big Chief’ mascot, but retained the rest of its branding, including places such as the ‘Wigwam Bar’ at its Sandy Park ground.

Exeter will retain the Chiefs on their behalf.

“As a rugby club we have been willing to listen, we have consulted widely, and now we are ready to invoke change,” Rowe said.

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