“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,” Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said.
The Crusaders also said they are considering changing their name as many of the Muslim community find the anti-Muslim crusades of the Middle Ages offensive.
The Christchurch side said they had commissioned a market research firm to review naming options.
“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 Christian and Muslims,” said NZR chief Steve Tew.
Tew said the review would examine two options, dropping the Crusaders’ name entirely or retaining it but revamping the brand.
“Maintaining the status quo in terms of the Crusaders’ name with the current imagery of knights on horseback is no longer tenable because of the association with the religious crusades,” he said.
The Crusaders adopted the name in 1996 when Super Rugby started.
Christchurch also suffered a massive earthquake in 2011, killing 185 people.
“The team has played an important role in helping galvanise the community and raising spirits following significant events,” Mansbridge said.
“Through these events, the Crusaders name has become more reflective of a positive crusade.”
Mansbridge said that the review will be completed at the end of the year and that the team’s name won’t change this year.
The Crusaders are the most successful Super Rugby side in the history of the competition, winning it 9 times.
Based on current form, don’t be surprised if theymove their tally up to a 10th title.
Written by Carl Coertzen
Image Credit: Stuff New Zealand