Native American headdresses worn by Exeter Chiefs fans face being BANNED

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EXETER CHIEFS fans wearing Native American headdresses to fancy-dress could be banned from premiership matches.

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Wasps, whose supporter group asked the club to consider outlawing caricature headdresses, is looking into the issues.

Luke Cowan-Dickie of Exeter Chiefs and England before the Aviva Premiership final in Indian headdress in 2016

And ahead of Saturday’s game in Coventry, he has asked the RFU and Premiership Rugby to look into the cultural divide.


Exeter has already abandoned its ‘Big Chief’ mascot after coming under fire.

A statement from the Wasps said: “Last year there was a public focus on the prominent use of appropriated names and iconography by professional franchises, including the Washington football team (formerly known as the ‘Redskins’ as of July 2020).

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“Wearing a fake Native American headdress has the potential to cause offense and does not align with our values.

“However, after consulting on this issue, it is clear that we need to reach a sport wide position in order to drive real change.

“Therefore, we have contacted Premiership Rugby, the RFU and the RFU’s newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Working Group to ask them to formally address this issue.

“At this time, we will not issue a region wide ban on wearing fake Native American attire, as a club acting in isolation has the potential to create further division and uncertainty.

“However, we do not endorse the wearing of such items, discourage supporters from wearing them and will reconsider this decision at an appropriate time.”

Last month Exeter failed to secure a shirt sponsor for the start of the season – with campaigners pointing to its negative press as the reason.

Owner Tony Rowe then insisted that all of Sandy Park’s sponsors were behind their controversial branding.

However, an investigation sunsport found that No one Was willing to publicly endorse his branding.

Exeter Chiefs for Change, who have been campaigning to end their club’s racist branding, said: “We welcome the news that Wasps has asked the Premiership and the RFU to resolve the issue of aggressive headdresses involving the Exeter Chiefs. asked for.

Tony Rowe, chief executive and president of the Exeter Rugby Club, with a bust of a Native American on his wall

Tony Rowe, chief executive and president of the Exeter Rugby Club, with a bust of a Native American on his wall

“Rugby is one of the last areas to respond to the issue, with several American football, baseball and ice hockey teams banning them in recent years, and Glastonbury and several other festivals banning them as of 2014. Although the issue itself goes back a long time.

“Headdresses (also known as warbonnets) have great ceremonial meaning, given to individuals in recognition of specific achievements and honours.

“Native Americans include more than 500 different nations with different cultures, languages, and more, of which only a few use headdresses and each has its own distinct style and customs, so there is a common sense for all Native Americans. Using headdresses is extremely disrespectful to the cultural identity as well as their meaning and importance.

“It is heartening to see that this will be tackled by English Rugby working together to review this important area, recognizing that one issue for one club is an issue for all and the reputation of the sport as a whole.” and undermines values, and sends the important message that Rugby is ready to step up and take action against racism and discrimination.

“This is an important step towards rugby that treats Native Americans with the same respect as anyone else, and we hope to create greater awareness of Indigenous people’s requests for all sports teams and brands to They can prevent their culture from being unfairly treated with mascots and logos. Perpetuating deceptive and harmful stereotypes.”

Washington NFL Team Is Dropping Controversial ‘Redskins’ Nickname, But Won’t Pick a Replacement Just Yet

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