Christchurch shooting: Crusaders name review should continue, says PR lecturer Chris Galloway

The Crusaders rugby franchise should continue its review into a name change, after last week's tragic shooting in Christchurch, according to Massey University public relations lecturer Chris Galloway.

Since 50 Muslims were killed in two local mosques on Friday, public pressure has mounted on the champion Super Rugby outfit to drop a name that seems to glamourise the Holy Wars of the Middle Ages.

"I don't think there's a right or wrong side," Galloway told The AM Show. "I think the name change is obviously over to the Crusaders franchise and their supporters.

"But I think there's a pretty case for doing what they were already planning to do, which is look at the implications or associations of the word 'Crusader'.

"In the Muslim world, the word 'Crusader' has implications of a religious war by the west against the Muslim community. Basically, 'Crusader' is the Christian equivalent of 'Jihad' and in both case, it means 'bloody religious war' - it's highly offensive.

"I think there's a good case for the franchise to consider the implications, especially in light of the atrocity in Christchurch."

The Crusaders enjoy an strong attachment to the city of Christchurch and posters on social media have fought back viciously at the thought of changing the name.

A Newshub poll showed 79 percent of respondents opposed to a change, but religious historian Peter Lineham was adamant it had to go.

"That name was a disgrace from the very moment they adopted it," Lineham told The AM Show. "The Crusaders draw on a history of Christian-Muslim conflict - the ugliest chapter in European history - and to invoke that history, it was appalling.

"Now, in the face of what has happened... it's got to be changed. The shame of it now is very apparent."

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge declined an interview request from Magic Talk, but has assured the community that the franchise's brand would be reviewed.

"What we stand for is the opposite of what happened in Christchurch o Friday," he said in a statement on the team's website.

"Our crusade is one for peace, unity, inclusiveness and community spirit.

"At an appropriate time, we will thoroughly consider the issues that have been raised and our response to that. That will include conversations with a range of people, including our Muslim community."  


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