EXETER CHIEFS have been blasted for ‘trolling Native Americans’ with their new mascot – solely a 12 months after axing their culturally offensive ‘Big Chief’.
Campaigners are calling for the European and English champions to finish using “harmful” indigenous branding on their gear and have bigger than 6,000 backers signed up to their set off by the use of a web based based petition.
Just final week Exeter unveiled a new mascot in a now-deleted Twitter publish – with followers claiming they’ve referred to as a result of the chook, which seems to be like a hawk, Tom.
The Exeter Chiefs for Change group need the membership to ditch customary Native American headdresses on the badge and cease having enjoyable with the ‘Tomahawk Chop’ chant spherical Sandy Park.
They furthermore take into consideration that what they determine using a “racial caricature logo” is the explanation why the membership are the one one out of 13 Premiership sides with no important front-of-shirt shirt sponsor this 12 months.
Hitting out, Exeter Chiefs for Change recommended SunSport: “Chiefs’ commercially chaotic pre-season is now bordering on farcical following the mascot unveiling debacle.
“At greatest, if it is solely a random chook, the membership is lacking the branding 101 totally different to launch the mascot with a recognition and character to work together households and promote associated merchandise.
“At worst, if it is primarily based on the “Tom-a-hawk” pun as most suspect, it is doubling-down on the misappropriated branding and blatantly trolling the Native Americans it claims to respect and honour.
“In the 150th year of the club and at a point where it has achieved so much, it would seem the perfect time to accept the changing landscape and announce a future move away from the outdated and inappropriate Native American branding adopted in 1999 and on to a new more positive future.”
And talking of what seems to be a scarcity of important shirt sponsor, Chiefs for Change acknowledged: “It appears that the decision to stubbornly plough on with the branding is not without consequences, as the shirts are without a main sponsor.
“If the membership was involved with reference to the value of rebranding before, it truly ought to now be realising the value of not rebranding.
“Given the distinctive success as Premiership and European Championship winners solely a 12 months beforehand, many would assume that securing a worthwhile sponsorship deal is perhaps a cinch.
“However, as increasingly more additional organisations commit to differ, fairness and inclusion insurance coverage protection insurance coverage insurance policies, the kind of higher-profile sponsors that the membership’s success ought to deserve appear rather a lot a lot much less in all probability to need to align their model with one tainted on this manner.
“The issue is a rapidly snowballing PR crisis that the club is stuck in until it takes action.
“The sooner they do that the sooner we can all move on and get back to enjoying the rugby and being proud of the club on and off the pitch, without this distraction and harm.”
While sports activities actions groups contained in the USA comparable to the Washington Football Team ditched their Native American imagery after requests from indigenous folks, Exeter have confirmed no indicators of ending their random affiliation.
They beforehand insisted their use of the Native American headdress was “a sign of respect”.
But Wasps have now develop to be the primary membership to communicate with reference to the potential of banning followers from sporting them in Coventry this season.
Exeter Chiefs for change added: “We are listening to a wider differ of voices and listening to from many Native American and Indigenous peoples that imagery like this that stereotypes their quite a few and numerous customized isn’t an honour or respect nonetheless the truth is dehumanises them, undermines their makes an strive to personal their very private historic earlier and film, and contributes to damage to well-being and psychological correctly being, significantly amongst their youth.
“Exeter Chiefs and its fans might not have had the intention of doing harm, but it is unfortunately the impact, so the only decent and respectful thing to do is to listen and stop.”
Exeter Chiefs refused to remark.