Exeter Chiefs set to drop their Native American-style logo

Exeter set to drop their Native American-style logo despite delaying final decision until next month for further talks – but the Devon club will remain the Chiefs

  • The National Congress of American Indians labelled the logo ‘harmful’
  • The club canvassed the opinion of their 700-strong membership on Thursday
  • Exeter insist the top club in Devon have been known as the ‘Chiefs’ since 1900s

Exeter are highly likely to ditch their Native American-style logo after ‘overwhelming’ support for change from their members – but will keep their ‘Chiefs’ name.

The Devon side have come under pressure to ditch their branding, dominated by a head-dressed Chief, which the National Congress of American Indians labelled ‘harmful’.

On Wednesday night, at the club’s AGM, they canvassed the opinion of their 700-strong membership in order to inform a board decision.

Exeter Chiefs discussed their Native American-style logo with 700-strong membership

And Sportsmail has learned that while there was by no means unanimity among the membership, the ‘overwhelming’ view, according to sources, was that they should alter their logo.

Exeter have always maintained they are called ‘Chiefs’ as that has been the name given to the top side in Devon since the 1900s, so that moniker will stay.

While a re-brand is now inevitable, the board – headed up by owner Tony Rowe – want more time to make an informed decision before another meeting in December.

The club decided to retire their ‘Big Chief’ mascot as a ‘mark of respect’ last year

Exeter have been encouraged by pressure groups to align themselves with Iron Age chiefs, specifically the Dumnonii tribe who lived in Devon and Cornwall up to the early Saxon period, but may want to consult experts first to understand its history.

It is understood they want to avoid rushing into a re-branding, a process that will cost them at least a five-figure sum, only to run into similar perceptions of ‘appropriation’ in the future which might spark another row.

A club statement read: ‘After consulting and listening in depth to the membership of Exeter Rugby Club at Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors will now go away and further consult with its stakeholders, partners and professional advisors to decide what the club will do next in terms of the club’s branding.’

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