(Valparaiso, IN) - Valparaiso University is going to change the nickname of its sports teams.
According to school officials, the nickname Crusaders is associated with violence and images of Crusaders have been adopted by hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Until a new nickname is chosen, the Crusader mascot will no longer appear at sporting events.
“The negative connotation and violence associated with the Crusader imagery are not reflective of Valpo’s mission and values, which promote a welcoming and inclusive community,” interim university president Colette Irwin-Knott said. People have also argued Crusader imagery was inherently violent given the bloody, centuries-long Crusades in the Holy Land.
Incoming university president Jose Padilla will lead a committee to choose a new mascot, school officials said. The student legislature had previously called for a name change, and the school’s alumni board of directors had asked for a review of the Crusader nickname.