Catholic college drops knight mascot, cites connection to "religious wars"

Catholic college drops knight mascot, cites connection to “religious wars”

Catholic college drops knight mascot, cites connection to “religious wars”

In this March 18, 2016, file photo, the Holy Cross mascot claps as players leave the court after a first-round men’s NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in in Spokane, Wash. The president of the College of the Holy Cross says the Jesuit school will stop using the image of a knight as a logo and mascot even though trustees last month decided to keep the Crusaders athletic nickname. (Credit: Young Kwak/AP.)

A month after announcing it would continue to use the Crusader moniker, the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, now says it will no longer use the image of a knight to represent the school.

A month after announcing it would continue to use the Crusader moniker, the College of the Holy Cross in in Worcester, Massachusetts, now says it will no longer use the image of a knight to represent the school.

The school’s president, Jesuit Father Philip L. Boroughs, said the school’s “current visual representations of the Crusader” do not “align with” the school’s understanding of the term.

“For some, knight imagery alone could convey nobility, chivalry and bravery. However, the visual depiction of a knight, in conjunction with the moniker Crusader, 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,” the priest wrote in a March 14 message to the college community.

RELATED: Catholic college to stay ‘Crusaders’ despite push to change name

Boroughs said over the coming months, the College of the Holy Cross will gradually phase out the use of all knight-related imagery.

“Moving forward, the College will use the interlocking HC on a purple shield, currently the secondary athletics logo, as the primary marker for all athletic teams, uniforms and advertising,” he said.

Boroughs also said that Iggy the Crusader, the costumed mascot for the school, would be retired.

On Feb. 2, the student newspaper of the school changed its name from The Crusader to The Spire, saying it was because of the “violence and massacres” of the medieval Crusades, in which Christian knights attempted to liberate the Holy Land from Muslim control.

The Board of Trustees of the Jesuit institution discussed changing the Crusader name but announced on Feb. 3 the school would continue to use the moniker.

In the summer of last year, Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania, announced it would change the name of its sports teams from the Crusaders to the Golden Wolves.

The school said on its website that the change wasn’t prompted by a desire to be politically correct but to create a stronger tie to its patron saint, Francis of Assisi, who according to legend tamed a wolf terrorizing an Italian town.

The school also noted the saint went to Egypt and tried to convert the sultan to end the fighting during the Fifth Crusade.

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