Exeter Chiefs set to drop Native American-style logo after backlash

Exeter Chiefs set to drop Native American-style logo after hosting meeting for members, in which the support to change was ‘overwhelming’

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Exeter Chiefs are set to drop the Native American-inspired logo that is synonymous with their team after their members ‘overwhelmingly’ voted to change – but there are no plans to rebrand and change the club’s name.

Exeter, who won the Premiership and European Cup double in 2019-20, have faced calls to ditch their branding, with their logo showing a head-dressed Chief.

The logo was labelled ‘harmful’ by the National Congress of American Indians, and at the club’s AGM on Wednesday night, the opinion of the club’s membership – made up of 700 individuals – was shared to inform the board of which decision to make.

Exeter Chiefs are set to change their logo after hosting an AGM in which the decision to change the logo was the ‘overwhelming’ option

While there was no unanimity or consensus among the vote, changing the logo was reportedly the ‘overwhelming’ view of the membership.

Exeter announced the moniker will remain with the team as they maintain they are called the ‘Chiefs’ because the name was given to the Devon side in the 1900s.

Owner Tony Rowe and the board of directors wanted to test the waters and make an informal decision before their next meeting in December, with a re-brand appearing inevitable at this stage.

Exeter could align their branding with Iron Age chiefs, specifically the Dumnonii tribe who lived in Devon and Cornwall until the early Saxon period. The team will likely consult experts to understand the tribe’s history in order to do them justice.

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The club do not want to rush into a jerk-reaction re-brand, and are planning to take their time over the decision – including deciding which group to pay homage to. The process will cost at least a five-figure fee, and the team do not want to suffer more allegations of ‘appropriation’ in the future.

Exeter released a club statement regarding the meeting and decision to potentially change the logo.

The statement read: “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 advisers to decide what the club will do next in terms of the club’s branding.”

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