Glasgow urge Exeter fans not to wear Native American-style headdresses to match

Premiership club Exeter are reviewing the use of their Chiefs nickname amid pressure to drop links to Native Americans

Nick Purewal
Monday 13 December 2021 20:34
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Exeter Chiefs have retired mascot Big Chief, centre, amid continued calls for them to ditch Native American-style branding (Paul Harding/PA)
Exeter Chiefs have retired mascot Big Chief, centre, amid continued calls for them to ditch Native American-style branding (Paul Harding/PA)

Glasgow Warriors have asked Exeter fans not to wear Native American-style headdresses at their Heineken Champions Cup match at Scotstoun.

Warriors bosses have also urged Exeter supporters not to sing their trademark “Tomahawk Chop” chant at the European clash on Saturday.

Premiership club Exeter are reviewing the use of their “Chiefs” nickname amid pressure to drop links to Native Americans

.The National Congress of American Indians urged Exeter to drop their “Chiefs” moniker last month, while Wasps have previously asked fans not to wear headdresses at matches in Coventry.

Managing director Al Kellock has insisted the request is to “stand up” for Glasgow supporters, who had urged the club to take a position on the issue.

“Since it was announced in September that we’d play Exeter Chiefs in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, we have taken time to consider our position on travelling Exeter Chiefs supporters’ use of Native American dress and chants at our game at Scotstoun Stadium,” said Kellock.

“Following the pool stage draw, we set up a working group to understand and educate ourselves on this sensitive issue and gather the views of our supporters, representatives from the Native American community, the competition organisers, and Exeter Chiefs themselves.

“During this period, several supporters asked that we ban headdresses and the ‘Tomahawk Chop’, and in October the Scottish Rugby Blog wrote an open letter reiterating these calls.

“Today, Glasgow Warriors are asking visiting fans from Exeter Chiefs not to attend the game on Saturday with faux Native American headdresses or chant the ‘Tomahawk Chop’ during the match.

“We are making this request out of respect for the Native American community around the world, whose views on the use of their imagery and cultural heritage we support, and the Glasgow Warriors supporters who have called for us to act on this matter.

“Glasgow Warriors is a welcoming club, that celebrates inclusivity and diversity and by making this call for action we want to live up to these values and stand up for the views of our supporters.

“It is also important to acknowledge the branding journey that Exeter Chiefs themselves are on following their recent AGM, and for us to be considerate of that.

“The club has informed Exeter Chiefs and European Professional Club Rugby of our request and has the full support of Scottish Rugby on taking this position.”

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