NZ Rugby World
SWING LO BOOTED FOR TOUCH
England adopted anthem,
Swing Lo Sweet Chariot, may potentially no longer be sung at home test matches.
The origins of the song date back to the days of slavery in the US and England fans have previously been criticised for “cross-cultural appropriation of a US slave song” by academics.
The Black Lives Matter movement has brought renewed focus on its airing at Twickenham and matches abroad and the RFU may now discourage fans from singing it.
An RFU spokesperson said: “The RFU has stated we need to do more to achieve diversity and we are determined to accelerate change and grow awareness. 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 sensitivities. We are reviewing its historical context and our role in educating fans to make informed decisions.”
The song was adopted by England fans in the late 1980s to celebrate the try-scoring feats at the Middlesex Sevens, of former England wing,
Martin Offiah, whose nickname was Chariots.