“RFU has stated that we need to do more to achieve diversity and we are determined to accelerate change and raise awareness,” the governing body said in a statement.
“The song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot has long been part of rugby culture, and is sung by many who are unaware of its origins or sensibilities.
“We review its historical context and our role in educating fans to make informed decisions.”
But former English cricket captain Michael Vaughan posted news of problems around the song on Instagram with the caption: “Please tell me if I’m wrong … but it certainly can’t be true !! ??”
Is it true that rugby fans sing a song from the slave age?
The song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is one of the most famous African American priestesses. Reputable, emotional, and rooted in the horrors of American slavery and the oppression of the race.
But in the last three decades, the well-known melody has also been the adopted anthem of the English rugby union team, and its enchanting choir is a frequent echo in the stadiums where the national team plays.
And therein lies the problem.
Should texts about suffering and despair be sung by thousands of England fans who are often middle class and often white?
Three years ago, when asked by CNN whether the RFU would review the use of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, a spokesman for the governing body of English rugby said: “Swing Low has been associated with rugby clubs and rugby clubs for decades. rugby team. “
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