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Ranald Barnicot

Yes, the idea of cultural appropriation is very interesting. There are two examples from the world of rugby: 1) the singing of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at Twickenham was decried as cultural appropriation by an Afro-American academic, whose name I can't remember; and 2) the use of the name Exeter Chiefs by the very successful Exeter rugby club, together with the use of Native American head-dress and costume by the fans. I've got more sympathy with the second than the first of these objections. "Swing Low" doesn't belong to any ethnic group any more, whereas Native American culture shouldn't be reduced to mere picturesque jokiness. I think that the management of the club may have agreed to change the name, I'm not sure. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to see legislation to ban this type of crowd behaviour.

Bristol Bears used to be known as Bristol Shoguns. Maybe they changed the name for a similar reason of political correctness.

Robert Goddard

"Swing Low" was always accompanied by a variety of lewd gestures if my memory serves me well. These gestures were a kind of dance really and the song a sort of excuse to dance rather than appropriate culture.

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