The New Zealand outfit will undertake a "thorough process" in weighing-up any rebrand.
Super Rugby’s Crusaders considering name-change
The Crusaders, Super Rugby‘s reigning champions, have said that they will consider changing their name in the aftermath of last week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
In a statement on Sunday, the franchise said that their name held no religious meaning but that: “For us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community.”
However, in light of the discussions that followed the attacks on mosques in which 50 people died, the club went on: “What we stand for is the opposite of what happened in Christchurch… our crusade is one for peace, unity, inclusiveness and community spirit.
“This team and the wider organisation are united with our community in standing against such abhorrent acts… and in standing in support of our Muslim community.”
The name Crusaders harks back to a campaign of religious wars between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land in medieval times.
In recent days New Zealand‘s Minister for Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson has offered his view. He said: “I’m aware of the conversations that they’re now having with, in particular, the Muslim community in Christchurch. I think that’s appropriate.
“Clearly, this is a big issue in Canterbury. The Crusaders is a well-established name and brand, but I think it’s a responsible action to undertake those conversations now.”
The Crusaders have since released the above Tweet, reaffirming their commitment to this discussion whilst insisting that the primary focus should be on bringing the community together.
The Crusaders have won Super Rugby for the last two seasons in a row.
They currently lead this season’s New Zealand conference.