Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Holy Cross College Considers Dropping ‘Crusaders’ Nickname, Mascot

The College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts is setting up a commission to consider whether to change its sports teams’ name—the Crusaders.

School president Rev. Philip Boroughs announced last week that a working group of students, faculty, staff and alumni would hold at least two campus events to hear thoughts about changing the name or the mascot, a knight with a sword and shield. The commission will present its findings in January.

“The Crusader name is an undeniable part of Holy Cross’ history,” the college said last week, adding, “At the same time, we acknowledge our responsibility to thoughtfully examine the sensitivities and implications this name may bear in light of the Crusades.”

Christian crusaders killed thousands of Jews and Muslims during battles in the Middle Ages. (Muslim fighters also killed thousands of Jews and Christians during that same period.)

Holy Cross history professor Sahar Bazzaz told the Worcester Telegram in April that Holy Cross calling its team the Crusaders is like a university in Baghdad calling itself the “Jihadis”— they are both ”someone who is fighting in the name of religion,” she said.

Many other universities with the nickname “Crusaders” changed their names in the years after the 9/11 terror attacks in light of heightened religious sensitivities.

Holy Cross’s campus newspaper, also called the Crusader, is also considering a name change. “The Crusader” is also the name of the Ku Klux Klan’s newsletter.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.