England rugby fans could be BANNED from singing their own iconic anthem in ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.’
A report that has emerged from the Daily Mail reveals that the RFU are strongly considering the anthem due to it originating among slaves in America roughly 150 years ago.
The anthem that is so loudly and proudly sung around Twickenham and also around the world is now under serious scrutiny as the federation looks to clamp down on racism and racist issues within the sport following recent events worldwide.
Following the death of American citizen George Floyd, millions of people worldwide have started protesting in the defence of black people, with the message ‘Black Lives Matter’ being the focus, and rightfully so.
The Premier League returned to action yesterday following the coronavirus break, and all footballers donned shirts with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back instead of their usual surnames.
The anthem was initially sung at the home of rugby in London when black wingers from rugby league and union – Martin Offiah and Chris Oti – scored tries in the late 1980s.
But, having said that, the famous anthem is said to originate among American slave workers around 150 years ago.
We know what you might be thinking… how on earth can you possibly ban fans from chanting a song?
Well, an RFU spokeswoman has revealed that they will do all they can to inform fans where the song originates from, and the true meaning behind the anthem.
“The RFU has stated we need to do more to achieve diversity and we are determined to accelerate change and grow awareness,” said an RFU spokeswoman.
“The Swing Low, Sweet Chariot song has long been part of the culture of rugby and is sung by many who have no awareness of its origins or its sensitivities.
“We are reviewing its historical context and our role in educating fans to make informed decisions.”