Exeter to drop Native American branding, keep 'Chiefs' nickname

English Premiership club Exeter Chiefs will drop their Native American-themed branding in the summer after criticism from fans, the club announced on Thursday.

The club said its new branding would feature the Celtic Iron Age Dumnonii Tribe which once inhabited Devon and Cornwall.

"Times are changing and so are we -- now is the time to move forward!" Exeter said in a statement.

"We are excited to welcome in the next era of rugby within Exeter," chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe said.

"Exeter has and always will be the most important term in our overall identity. The term Chiefs, however, is equally entrenched in our make-up, going back to over a century ago when teams in this region would regularly call their first teams that of the Chiefs. We are Exeter, we are the Chiefs!"

In 2020, the supporter group Exeter Chiefs for Change led the calls for the club to get rid of their branding.

The club subsequently dropped their 'Big Chief' mascot, but retained the rest of their branding including places such as the 'Wigwam Bar' at their Sandy Park ground.

Exeter will retain Chiefs in their name.

"As a rugby club we have been willing to listen, we have consulted far and wide, and now we are ready to invoke change," Rowe said.