The College of the Holy Cross will stop using a Christian knight as its mascot, as the “Crusader” was deemed to be potential “Islamaphobic” at the Jesuit school.
What began as a crusade to rid the school of an offensively titled student newspaper, dubbed The Crusader in 1955, became an attack on the mascot -also the Crusader.
Aside from concerns that the paper’s title was the same as a newspaper published by the KKK, students “spurred to outrage by a letter-to-the-editor signed by 48 faculty members” said the newspaper’s name also promoted “Islamophobia,” especially after the 2016 election.
Campus Reform reports: The mascot’s defenders, however, pointed out the historical reality that the Crusades were a conflict between expanding Muslim empires and declining Christian powers that had already been fighting each other over land for centuries, arguing that the contemporary inclination to disparage the Crusaders overlooks the fact that both sides committed atrocities.
The school’s president, Fr. Philip Boroughs, nonetheless announced in September that he “had convened a working group” to explore whether “the Crusader moniker and mascot are appropriate, or inappropriate, representations of the college, given our mission, values, and identity.”
Shortly thereafter, The Crusader’s editors revealed that the publication would also be conducting a review of its own name, a process that culminated on February 2 in a decision to permanently change its name to The Spire.
In so doing, the editors explicitly denied that the name change was motivated in any way by the KKK publication, saying the decision was based solely “on the association with the violence of the Crusades.”
On Thursday, the president of the College of the Holy Cross announced that the school would stop using the Crusader for its athletic teams as well.
From The Worcester Telegram: In a letter to alumni, students, faculty, and staff, the Rev. Boroughs said the Crusader knight, which adorns much of the college’s paraphernalia, “inevitably ties us directly to the reality of the religious wars and the violence of the Crusades.”
“This imagery stands in contrast to our stated values,” he said. “Over the coming months, the college will gradually phase out the use of all knight-related imagery.”
In its place, Holy Cross will adopt an interlocking HC on a purple shield as its primary logo. The college will also retire its costumed knight mascot, according to the president.
“I understand these decisions will be a disappointment to some of you but I trust our community’s support for Holy Cross and for our athletic teams will continue unwaveringly,” Rev. Boroughs said.