- Publish Date
- Thursday, 17 October 2019, 8:14AM
The Crusaders have made the first change in its re-brand after calls for the franchise to change its name following the Christchurch shootings.
The Crusaders announced earlier this year that they would be considering a change to their name and branding following the attacks that killed 50 people and left dozens injured, insisting the status quo is "no longer tenable".
The name was seen as insensitive by many, given its links to the military campaigns launched by Christians against Muslims during the medieval period.
The branding and pre-game mascots, which feature knights riding on horseback in chainmail, waving swords and with crosses on their chests, also came under scrutiny.
Although the Crusaders name itself still stands, the Super Rugby champions have removed the swords from their logo online.
Fans were divided on the new logo, with plenty of social media support for the new logo.
Others weren't impressed with some fans calling it a "shambles", a "joke" and saying they were "absolutely gutted" at the new imagery.
The Crusaders launched an independent review earlier this year and said any major changes recommended would come into effect by the 2021 season.
It is still unknown whether the franchise will go as far as changing its name, with opinion heavily divided among fans.
A petition opposing the name change received more than 25,000 signatures online.
NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew said at the time that the removal of medieval theme was an appropriate first step, but any further consideration of the brand needs to be broader than a response to one event.
"Even prior to 15 March, the Crusaders had signalled their intention to complete a brand review," Tew said.
"While the events of 15 March have accelerated and escalated that brand review, we do not want this to be solely a response to that tragic event."
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission
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