Thank you for visiting our Take Action page to find out how you can support the call for Exeter Chiefs to rebrand. Our campaign has had great success in a short space of time but we need your help to put the pressure on the club before its members vote on the issue at its AGM on 24th November 2021.
The easiest way to support our campaign is to follow us on social media @ExChiefs4Change on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn – show your support using the hashtag #ChangeTheChief and by liking, sharing, saving and commenting on our posts, which helps us to reach as many people as possible to keep the pressure on Exeter Chiefs to change.
Sign our petition
Though our petition has already been presented to Exeter Rugby Club, it is still open to sign at change.org/exeterchiefs – signing the petition shows that support for a rebrand is growing: please do write a “reason for signing” for us to share on our socials!
Vote with your wallet
Exeter supporters can show support for a rebrand by not buying new kit. By boycotting Exeter’s merchandise we can hit the club where it hurts: its bank account. Supporters with existing merchandise can cover up or unpick the logo (alike the Cleveland MLB fans who decided to #DeChief their kits to show solidarity with the Indigenous campaigners asking the team to rebrand) and all fans can refuse to participate in the tomahawk chop chant or wearing of the headdress.
Our Frequently Asked Questions page is a great starting point to find out more about why we are campaigning for change. We have lots of useful resources, including: links to research that demonstrates that Native mascots harm the wellbeing of Native people; information about the decades-long campaigns by the NCAI and other Native-led organisations calling for an end to Native mascots and logos; and the surveys that demonstrate that a majority of Native people are offended by Native American sports branding.
Follow the movement
Check out our Indigenous Voices page for more information on organisations like the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) who have campaigned for an end to the use of Native mascots since 1968, IllumiNative campaigning for better representation for Indigenous peoples, Not In Our Honor, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM), No More Native Mascots, plus the groundbreaking research by Dr Stephanie Fryberg.
Talk to your friends and family
Though the Native mascot debate has been happening for years, this is still a relatively new conversation in the UK where we have very little visibility of Native American people outside of the stereotypical “warrior” portrayal. By speaking to friends and family about the issues with Exeter’s branding you are helping to correct these misconceptions. You could use our FAQ to support a discussion or perhaps arrange a watch party of a film about the issue of Native mascots, like In Whose Honor? by Jay Rosenstein or More Than A Word by John Little and Kenn Little, which both explore the topic.
Ask Rugby to Tackle Racism
Ask Exeter Chiefs to change
Though Exeter Chiefs are now well aware of the issues with the club’s branding, there is strength in numbers and every voice amplifying the call for change shows the club that this issue is not going away, no matter how much they ignore it. This is an issue that is bad for Exeter, bad for rugby and bad for society, so whatever your reasons for supporting the call for a rebrand: make sure you let the club know ahead of its AGM on 24th November 2021, when members will be voting on this issue.
Write to your club
Supporters of Premiership and Champions Cup rugby clubs can follow the lead of @TheWaspsReport who recently wrote to Wasps RFC asking it to ban costume headdresses from its stadium. Wasps promptly responded that the club would review its policies and has since released a statement recognising the cultural appropriation by Exeter fans and calling for a league-wide review in to the issue. Similarly, The Scottish Rugby Podcast have called on their club, Glasgow Warriors to take a similar stand. Glasgow have responded that they are reviewing the issue with EPCR, Wasps and Exeter Chiefs themselves.
Take it to the top
Write to Premiership Rugby and ask it to follow through with its Rugby Against Racism campaign and urge Exeter Chiefs to end its use of race-based branding and imagery. Contact the organisers of the Champions Cup to share concerns that Exeter’s stereotypical portrayal of Indigenous peoples isn’t in line with European Professional Club Rugby’s social responsibility strategy “to promote diversity, cultural wealth and minorities”. Ask the RFU governing body to show its commitment to diversity and inclusion by ensuring that Native Americans are not excluded from English Rugby due to Exeter’s mockery of their culture, and tell World Rugby that it must uphold its core value of “respect” by showing respect to the Native Americans asking all sports teams to stop using them as mascots.
Pile on the Pressure
Make a complaint
Ask BT Sport to follow standard practice for offensive material by muting the “tomahawk chop” played at Exeter Chiefs’ home ground Sandy Park, and to stop normalising the use of costume headdresses by fans by not picturing Exeter Chiefs fans wearing them. BT Sport is aware of the offense caused by the tomahawk chop and recently hosted a brilliant discussion on Rugby Tonight about Exeter Chiefs’ cultural appropriation in which they spoke with Indigenous individuals who shared their knowledge and experience. There is no excuse for the continued broadcast of the tomahawk chop. Complaints can also be made to Ofcom.
After decades of protests and legal proceedings by Indigenous activists calling for the Washington NFL team to change its name, the straw that finally broke the football franchise’s back was when sponsors refused to back the team until it agreed to stop using the racial slur. Help us to pile the pressure on Exeter Rugby Club to rebrand, by contacting sponsors and commercial partners of Exeter Chiefs, Premiership Rugby, and the European Champions Cup and asking them to tell Exeter Chiefs to change.
If you are an East Devon constituent, contact Simon Jupp MP and ask him to speak to the club about the importance of this issue. Residents of Exeter can raise concerns with Exeter City Councillors, leader of the Council – Councillor Philip Bialyk, and The Lord Mayor of Exeter – Councillor Trish Oliver, about how Exeter Chiefs’ disregard of Native Americans paints the city as one that does not welcome Indigenous peoples. Those who live in Devon can write to Devon County Council about the branding.