Swing Low, Sweetchariot: England’s Maro Thisoje “won’t sing that song again”

Maro Itoje
Itoje has played in 62 Tests for England and the British & Irish Lions

Maro Itoje of England says that Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is not something he will sing anymore because it has its roots in slavery.

Fans have been singing the anthem at England matches since 1987.

In 2020, following the Black Lives Matter movement the Rugby Football Union looked at the song's usage. chose not to ban it.

Itoje, 27, Saracens lock, stated that while he isn't going to tell anyone what they should do or not, he will sing the song once more.

“I sang it once before, when I was young and didn't know the origins. But, now that I understand the context of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot's creation, it's not something I want to repeat.”

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is believed to have been composed by a slave called Wallace Wallis with his wife Minerva In the middle of 1800s.

Itoje, born in London and of Nigerian origin, stated that the song makes him feel “uncomfortable”. He added that the background is “complicated”.

The RFU did not ban the song but said that it would “proactively” educate its fans about the “history, origins, and significance of the song.

English Rugby's governing body made a video explaining the history of the song and withdrew it from marketing or merchandising.

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