ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Apr 3, 2019

It's 'Political Correctness gone mad' as the Crusaders issue formal statement on name change

Following the devastating terror attack in Christchurch, the name of the local Crusaders team came under scrutiny due to it’s negative connotations. After much speculation, the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby have issued a statement clarifying their position.

ADVERTISEMENT

Much to some fans’ dismay, the organisation have taken the appeals to have the name changed very seriously. In what is natually a sensitive topic, a joint statement said the following:

The BNZ Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby have announced today that they will engage independent research company, Research First, to seek feedback and provide recommendations on the Crusaders team name and brand, following the Christchurch attacks on Friday 15 March.

BNZ Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said: “This is an event that rocked our community and brought some important issues to the fore. One of the contentious issues that has been brought up in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks is the name of our rugby team – the Crusaders.

“Because of our desire to be the best we can be and to support our community, we are treating the question around the appropriateness of our brand extremely seriously. We are committed to undertaking a thorough process, taking into account all relevant opinions and, most importantly, we are committed to doing the right thing.”

When the first year of Super Rugby kicked off in 1996, the Crusaders title was chosen for the side representing the provincial unions from the top half of the South Island and the brand was built on a stylised version of medieval England, in a nod to the English heritage of Christchurch. The club’s marketing over the past 23 years has incorporated the pageantry of knights and horsemen, and included symbols such as swords and banners.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said: “In the wake of the Christchurch attacks, it is apparent that the symbolism the club has used, combined with the ‘Crusaders’ name, is offensive to some in the community due to its association with the religious Crusades between Christians and Muslims.

ADVERTISEMENT

“One thing that has become very clear in the last two weeks is that there are divided opinions on the best way forward for the brand. We understand and appreciate the passionate feedback that we are receiving on both sides of the conversation, and at this stage we are committed to keeping an open mind until the independent research has been done.”

Mr Mansbridge said: “Our challenge is that the name Crusader has come to mean something quite different to many of the team’s supporters. This team is proud of the positive contribution it makes to the community. In recent times the Crusaders region has been through a number of tragic and trying events and the team has played an important role in helping galvanise the community and raise spirits following significant events. Through these events, the Crusaders name has become more reflective of a positive Crusade.”

In order to complete an objective process, Research First will be tasked with engaging relevant stakeholders and will use their expertise to evaluate the feedback and provide recommendations. Feedback will be collected during the 2019 season, and following that the Crusaders and NZ Rugby Boards will consider the recommendations and reach a final decision.

Mr Tew said: “We are asking Research First to look into two possible options moving forward – retaining the ‘Crusaders’ name but changing the branding and associated imagery; or undertaking a complete rebranding, including the name and all imagery.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Maintaining the status quo in terms of the Crusaders name along with the current imagery of knights on horseback is, in our view, no longer tenable because of the association with the religious Crusades that has now been drawn. That is therefore not one of the options that we will be considering.”

Mr Mansbridge said: “We have already stated our commitment to undertaking a thorough process and to do so is going to take time.It will not be possible to arrive at a final decision and respond in our brand, wardrobe and insignia before the end of this season, but the outcome for any decision will be reflected in our marketing material, playing kit and at-game experience for the 2020 season. We will remain the Crusaders for the rest of the 2019 season.”

Statement ends. They have also provided a link for users to submit further feedback.

Fans are extremely upset that it’s even being considered. You can read some of the heated comments and discussion on their facebook page here.

Muslim convert since 2009, Sonny Bill Williams had a week off with compassionate leave, spending time in the communities and visiting hospitals where victims recovered from the horrific attacks.

Related Articles

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge puts on his boxing gloves ready...

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy scenes as player deliberately kicks...

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    RFU make decision on transgender players...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 6 HOURS AGO

    Duhan van der Merwe Scores Calcutta Cup Classic

  • 6 HOURS AGO

    Marcus Smith Sets Up World Class Max Malins Try In Calcutta Cup

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Faf De Klerk Involved With Wild Trick Play In Japanese Top League

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Italian Star With A Mind Blowing Finish For Toulouse

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Quick Thinking Etzebeth Scores Thrilling Try To Keep Sharks Alive In London

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 5 HOURS AGO

    Liam Williams Accused Of Diving Following Iain Henderson Collision

  • 8 HOURS AGO

    Garry Ringrose Hammers Dan Biggar In Dominant Irish Victory At Principality Stadium

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Nasty Stamp During Top 14 Clash Caught Up Close On Camera

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Leicester Tigers And Springbok Number Eight In Hot Water For Sickening Ankle Roll

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Controversy Brewing Following Lack Of TMO intervention In ‘Dangerous’ Toulouse Tackle

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Sevens magic as 'headed' try brings stadium to its feet

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Almost 35,000 have now signed petition to reverse new grassroots tackle laws

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    RFU introduce maximum of waist high tackling in amateur rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Big players omitted in Borthwick's new squad and Jones finds a new job - The fallout

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Chaotic try in classic footage shows just how unpredictable a rugby ball can be

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Skydiver Interrupts Rugby Match With Clear High Tackle

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Faf De Klerk Involved With Wild Trick Play In Japanese Top League

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Sevens magic as 'headed' try brings stadium to its feet

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Australian Broadcasters Slammed For ‘Pathetic’ Attack On International Referee

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    “I’m Too Old” Referee Substituted In Bizarre Incident

View All

Amateur

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Sarah Mckenna plays crossbar challenge with cheeky drop goal

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Capuozzo shows class with 'superman' flying finish

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Slade out and Lions star in as England injuries cause changes

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Josh Bassett signs for new premiership team after short stay at Harlequins

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Exeter fly half to depart for France

View All