England second-row Maro Itoje has revealed that he will no longer sing ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ due to the song’s origins.
It is not the first time Itoje has expressed concerns with the famous fans’ anthem, having opened up on the topic two years ago.
Not imposing his approach on others
Despite deciding not to participate, Itoje says he will not dictate whether other people should or should not sing the song.
“I’m not going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do but, personally, I won’t sing this song anymore,” he told L’Equipe.
“I sang it before when I was naive and didn’t know its origins but, knowing now the context in the creation of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, it’s not an anthem that I’m going to repeat anymore.”
Itoje believes fans have no “malicious intent” when belting out the anthem on game day, but the song’s background is a cause for concern.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think anyone at Twickenham is singing it with malicious intent, but the background of that song is complicated,” he told the Daily Mail in 2020.
The RFU has since removed its official endorsement of the song but decided not to make any steps to banning the anthem.
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