BT Sport is set to axe Exeter Chiefs’ famous Tomahawk Chant from their fake crowd noise as rugby restarts in England.
Reports in the Daily Mail late on Thursday evening suggest that BT Sport will remove the sounds of their chants in order to minimise the chances of offence being caused.
Sportsmail spoke to the Chief Operating Officer for BT Sport, Jamie Hindhaugh, who gave a clearer indication as to why they were pursuing this move.
‘It’s not something I want us to do. We always work through with compliance and what we think is right both editorially and in conjunction with our Ofcom requirements. ‘
The ‘Big Chief’ Mascot was retired by Exeter Chiefs at the end of July as the club decided to retain large parts of their club branding despite calls by pressure groups to drop its ties to Native Americans.
Exeter will continue to call themselves the Chiefs, claiming the name dated back into the early 1900s and had a long history with people in the Devon area. However, as a mark of respect to the recent controversy, they have decided to stop using their ‘Big Chief’ matchday mascot.
‘I think in the current context of conversations that are happening across our industry and the world we need to be respectful. There’s no need for us to do anything controversial’, Hindhaugh said to the Daily Mail.
Exeter Chiefs will take on Leicester Tigers on the 15th August at Sandy Park as Rugby Restart commences in England. The match will be played in front of an almost empty stadium, similar to other sporting events that we have seen in the country.
Football has successfully seen matches in the UK being played in empty stadiums, with fans given the option to add fake crowd noises to the match rather than the silence of an empty stadium.
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