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Exeter Chiefs have decided against a name change, but will be retiring their mascot following a review. 

The Gallagher Premiership side's moniker had come under scrutiny with the sporting world opening its eyes to disrespectful names an imagery associated with teams.

In the NFL, the Washington franchise decided to ditch the racist 'Redskins' part of its name following pressure from Indigenous groups and sponsors. For the time being they'll be known simply as the Washington Football Team.

Last month saw the formation of a group called Exeter Chiefs 4 Change.

They've been petitioning for a change of logo and for the club mascot to be put out to pasture.

"There is no place in a predominantly white British environment for appropriation of Indigenous Peoples‘ imagery that has no relation whatsoever to the history of the club, or the city," they said

"The ‘Chiefs’ brand dates back to 1999, a decision that was not taken with racism in mind, but one that is now sat increasingly awkwardly at the pinnacle of English rugby."

While they insisted there was no need for a name change, Exeter Chiefs 4 Change took special issue with the 'Big Chief' mascot.

"The stylised Chief on the club’s crest, the ‘Big Chief’ mascot, the headdresses and tomahawks adorning the supporters, and the ‘Tomahawk Chop’ chant are all examples of cultural appropriation of the Indigenous Peoples who were all but wiped out by white European settlers and who still suffer extreme examples of racial prejudice today, across the world," they wrote in their plea for a change from the club.

In response, Exeter said they took "lengthy submissions from those who wish to see immediate change and from those who are content that the current branding is not disrespectful to indigenous groups."

The club's board feel their logo "was in fact highly respectful", adding that, "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."

Exeter concluded that, "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."

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English Premiership Exeter Chiefs Gallagher Premiership Washington Redskins

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