Exeter Chiefs keep logo, but retire mascot 'Big Chief'

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: FILE FOOTAGE OF EXETER CHIEFS PLAYERS, STADIUM, MASCOT AND BRANDING, INTERVIEW WITH EXETER CHIEFS FOR CHANGE CAMPAIGN, ALIX BURHOUSE AND EXETER CHIEFS FAN AND PRO-LOGO CAMPAIGNER, IAN DUNSTAN

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: SOUNDBITES ARE FROM INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED ON JULY 27, 2020 BEFORE THE DECISION WAS MADE BY EXETER CHIEFS TO DROP THE MASCOT

SHOWS:

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE) (BBC - NO USE UK)

1. EXETER CHIEFS' MASCOT, "BIG CHIEF" DANCING DURING HALFTIME OF A MATCH AT THE CLUB'S SANDY PARK STADIUM

2. EXETER CHIEFS BRANDING WHEN IT WAS FIRST LAUNCHED IN 1999

3. EXETER CHIEFS SQUAD POSING FOR TEAM PHOTO

4. VARIOUS OF EXETER CHIEFS PLAYERS PASSING BALL DURING TRAINING

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 27, 2020) (BBC - NO USE UK)

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXETER CHIEFS FOR CHANGE CAMPAIGN, ALIX BURHOUSE, SAYING:

"I don't think it's so much they've got it wrong. It's the fact that Exeter Chiefs is the team on the pitch and the coaching team behind them and people like (Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby) Rob (Baxter) that have made the team what it is to see it rise from where it's come from and get to where they have. That's the important part of Exeter Chiefs. And to have branding that doesn't reflect anything to do with the club, anything to do with the area -- it's an opportunity to bring that more in line with the team and the local success that they've had and the international success and really celebrate that rather than an irrelevant Native American branding that has nothing to do with the club."

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - MAY 26, 2018) (BBC - NO USE UK)

6. MAN HOLDING EXETER CHIEFS FLAGS OUTSIDE TWICKENHAM AHEAD OF THE 2018 RUGBY PREMIERSHIP PLAYOFF FINAL BETWEEN THE CHIEFS AND SARACENS

7. EXETER CHIEFS FANS, SAYING: "CHIEFS", GIRL IS WEARING NATIVE AMERICAN HEADDRESS

8. FANS DOING MOCK LINEOUT FOR PHOTO, ONE FAN WEARING HEADDRESS

9. FANS WEARING HEADDRESS WHILE CHEERING AT CAMERA

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 27, 2020) (BBC - NO USE UK)

10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXETER CHIEFS FOR CHANGE CAMPAIGN, ALIX BURHOUSE, SAYING:

"That they (Native Americans) are more than a mascot. They are a rich culture that has its own struggles and strengths and so much history to them and it can't all be wound up in one Big Chief mascot running around with a tomahawk because they're more than that."

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE) (BBC - NO USE UK)

11. EXETER CHIEFS' MASCOT, "BIG CHIEF" ON TOUCHLINE AT HALFTIME DURING A MATCH

12. VARIOUS OF EXETER CHIEFS FANS OUTSIDE SANDY PARK AHEAD OF A MATCH

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 27, 2020) (BBC - NO USE UK)

13. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXETER CHIEFS FOR CHANGE CAMPAIGN, ALIX BURHOUSE, SAYING:

"100% - Nothing was ever done with the intention to harm. I -- we all believe that, but when you listen to the people that are saying 'we don't like this, we're not happy with this, it does harm us' and you continue to ignore what they're saying and carry on like nothing is a problem, that's where the harm is. And we shouldn't have to wait for them to come knocking on the door to listen to the message that is there in America (United States). If it's a problem in America, it's a problem here. We're a globe altogether as humans. We don't have to wait for them to come knocking specifically for us. Let's be the change that they're looking for without them coming to ask us."

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE) (BBC - NO USE UK)

14. FANS QUEUING UP TO GO THROUGH TURNSTILES

15. EXETER CHIEFS LOGO ON WALL

EXMOUTH, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 27, 2020) (BBC - NO USE UK)

16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXETER CHIEFS FAN AND PRO-LOGO CAMPAIGNER, IAN DUNSTAN, SAYING:

"I'm sure something will happen with the branding and I'd rather see it that positive -- I wouldn't like it to change, I'd like the logo to stay. I'd like the positive side of it to be taken to a group and actually do some good. The Chiefs, the Chiefs Foundation, they work with children all over the, all over Devon and Cornwall. The HITZ Programme work with some people who have had very little chance in life and actually it's really helped them and prevented suicides and sorted out some good kids who have had hard starts and I'd love to think that the Chiefs could do the same thing, use all of their experience to do the same to some Native Americans."

EXETER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE) (BBC - NO USE UK)

17. EXETER CHIEFS FAN, WHO'S WEARING HEADDRESS, GOING THROUGH TURNSTILE

18. FANS GOING THROUGH TURNSTILES

19. FANS, INCLUDING TWO WHO ARE WEARING HEADDRESSES GOING THROUGH TURNSTILES

STORY: English Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs said on Wednesday (July 29) that they would keep their logo but retire mascot 'Big Chief' following a review of the club's branding in the wake of a petition calling for an end to their use of "harmful imagery".

The Chiefs' badge and mascot both feature a Native American and the club's board said they had sought views from sponsors, supporters, the wider rugby community and "certain sections from the Native American community" during the review.

The petition by a fans' group had garnered thousands of signatures and called on the club to stop the cultural appropriation of Indigenous Peoples' imagery that had no relation to the history of the club or the city.

The petition against the Chiefs' came in the wake of the NFL's Washington team saying this month it would retire its 'Redskins' name and logo, which had long been criticised as racist by Native American rights groups.

"The board took the view that the use of the Chiefs logo was in fact highly respectful," the Chiefs said in a statement.

"The one aspect which the board felt could be regarded as disrespectful was the club's mascot 'Big Chief' and as a mark of respect have decided to retire him."

The fans' group had said that the stylised 'Chief' on the club's crest, its mascot, headdresses and tomahawks worn by fans, and their 'Tomahawk Chop' chant were all examples of cultural appropriation.

The board, however, said it had been provided with content indicating that the name Chiefs dated back to the early 1900s and had a long history with people in the Devon area.

"It was noted over the years we have had players and coaches from around the world with a wide range of nationalities and cultures," the statement added.

"At no time have any players, coaches or their families said anything but positive comments about the branding or culture that exists at the club."

(Production: Tim Hart)

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