Holy Cross on Verge of Dumping ‘Crusader’ Mascot Over Political Correctness

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/11/27/holy-cross-on-verge-of-dumping-crusader-mascot-over-political-correctness/

WORCESTER — First, it was the college’s newspaper — The Crusader — that appeared to be triggering campus progressives, as it happened to coincidentally feature the same name as the chief publication produced by the Ku Klux Klan.

Yet a proposal to change the name of the College of the Holy Cross’s newspaper may not be enough, as the Jesuit institution also boasts the same name for its school mascot.

On Sunday the deadline fell for submitting feedback regarding the “Crusader” moniker, and college administrators are now implying that a change in the name is inevitable. The reasoning, however, has nothing to do with an odd coincidence with the KKK — rather, the name is under fire over its ties to the Crusades, a series of religious wars that date back to medieval times and involved campaigns in and around the Eastern Mediterranean to overthrow Islamic control of the region.

“Unlike many mascots, the Crusader has a direct link to our religious identity,” a statement appearing on the school’s website points out. “At the same time, we acknowledge our responsibility to thoughtfully examine the sensitivities and implications this name may bear in light of the Crusades.”

The school elaborated on the issue in a statement provided Sunday to the Boston Herald:

“The Crusader name is an undeniable part of the College of the Holy Cross’ history. At the same time, as an institution of higher learning, we acknowledge our responsibility to thoughtfully examine the sensitivities and implications this name may bear. Our Holy Cross community is passionate about the College and our mission, values and tradition, and as we expected, the discussion of our mascot and moniker has been spirited. Our community has engaged in this conversation in a manner consistent with our approach to all discussions at Holy Cross, with deep thought and respect for different perspectives and opinions.”

Holy Cross adopted the Crusader name in 1925 after dropping the Tomahawk as a mascot. It was not until January of 1955 that the school newspaper followed suit. A peek into the newspaper’s archives indicates there was overwhelming support for the initial change from a Native American-themed name to a religious one, and the decision to rename the mascot was actually prompted by a question raised by a Boston Herald columnist:



On Sunday, former Boston Celtic and basketball Hall-of-Famer Tommy Heinsohn, who graduated from Holy Cross in 1956, blasted the school over its apparent intention to dump the Crusader moniker.

“It’s political correctness run amok,” he told the Herald. “There’ll be a hue and cry if they go through with this. The necessity of this thing is beyond the pale. Get a life.”

Heinsohn might be onto something. A glance at the college’s Facebook page, where the announcement of Sunday’s feedback deadline was posted, shows that plenty of alums are already crying foul:

The College of the Holy Cross’s Board of Trustees are slated to make a final decision on February 3.