The College of the Holy Cross is nixing its famous mascot, the Knight, in favor of something less offensive, and Holy Cross athletes will no longer be known as "Crusaders," according to Campus Reform and Fox News.
The Catholic school now says it's ashamed of the connotations associated with the "Crusader," and believe the image is offensive to potential students. "[T]he 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," said the school's president, Rev. Philip Boroughs.
“This imagery stands in contrast to our stated values. Over the coming months, the College will gradually phase out the use of all knight-related imagery," he continued in a statement released by the school.
The student paper, the Crusader, is the first to change its name. The publication will now be known as "The Spire," a reference to the school's architectural features.
The change stems from complaints leveled last March at the student newspaper, specifically. Apparently, "The Crusader," is also the name of a KKK publication, and some students and faculty felt the newspaper's masthead might be triggering to minority Holy Cross attendees.
According to Campus Reform, that protest gave birth to a petition, "a letter-to-the-editor signed by 48 faculty members," which claimed that the "newspaper's name promoted 'Islamophobia' and argued that the 2016 election necessitated a change in both the paper’s name and the college’s mascot—also the Crusaders."
The Holy Cross Board of Trustees voted to ignore the petition, but Fr. Boroughs convened a "working group" in September to study a potential name change, regardless. That group recommended a switch to something less offensive, and so, effective immediately, Holy Cross's artwork, logo, nickname, and mascot are on the chopping block.
It's not immediately clear whether Holy Cross realizes it is, indeed, a Christian school, and that the symbol of the school, a cross is, by definition, exclusionary to people of non-Christian religions.