Sunday, March 17, 2019


The Washington Post reports from New Zealand:
There were ... calls for the Canterbury Crusaders, a hugely successful rugby team, to change its name after the massacre because of undertones of religious hatred....

The weapons and clothing used by [Brenton] Tarrant in the [Christchurch mosque] attack carried numerous references to the Crusades, when Christian armies from Europe tried to seize the Holy Land from Muslims during the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.
According to local press reports, the change, which has been proposed before, might really happen now:
The Crusaders will consider changing their name following the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

A statement issued by the Crusaders on Sunday night noted that the Super Rugby club "understood the concerns that have been raised" about the club's name.

"For us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community," the statement read. "What we stand for is the opposite of what happened in Christchurch on Friday; our crusade is one for peace, unity, inclusiveness and community spirit.

"In our view, this is a conversation that we should have and we are taking on board all of the feedback that we are receiving. However, we also believe that the time is not right now."
This isn't a long-established name like the Cleveland Indians or the Washington Redskins -- Reuters notes that "The Crusaders adopted their name 23 years ago when rugby went professional" in New Zealand -- but the fact that team management sometimes sends costumed Crusaders onto the pitch suggests a level of investment in the name.

Here's the logo:

If efforts to change the team name persist, I predict there'll be rabble-rousing against the change in the right-wing media, including Fox News. It will be described as part of a global epidemic of anti-Christian bias.

And if the name is changed, it's quite possible that the next white nationalist terrorist will wear Crusaders logowear during his attack. Even if that doesn't happen, the gear will catch on. The logo will start showing up among racists as the social media avatar of choice.

Changing the name will make the name and logo "politically incorrect" in an enticing way, but it would still be a good idea. I hope it happens.

No comments: