Does Duncan Garner want to rename the Crusaders ‘The Canterbury Snowflakes’?


Duncs ain’t happy.

This morning on The AM Show, Duncan Garner is furious that the Crusaders are considering changing their their names in the wake of the Christchurch atrocity.

For Duncs the name change is proof positive we have taken the grieving of a white supremacy terror attack far too seriously, because you know, white supremacist terror attacks are things that you can easily move on from.

Far be it for me to suggest that Duncan Garner is a TV test pattern for stupidity because Duncs does speak for a large chunk of NZ and they are aggrieved that they have to learn about history, consider others in the community and a rugby team name change all at the same time and for many, having to think about 3 things at once is terrifying.

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Mark Richardson has come out in support of the name change, and I think that shows an enormous emotional maturity for him, which in turn pains Duncs into an even smaller no window corner because when a sports mad geek like Richardson can understand the need to be sensitive, you know you are one plank away from making a burning cross.

Here’s the truth, March 15th demanded symbolic change. Now if the Crusaders had been forced to make this name change because a social media pile on of Millennials screaming about micro aggressions made them do it, that would be wrong, but this has been self seeded by those involved in the team and that makes it a totally different proposition.

As right wing monster, newspaper columnist and fellow Talkback panelist Damien Grant so eloquently put it

If, as an organic reaction to what has happened, the team and their supporters take to Wikipedia to understand what the Crusades were and decide that calling themselves the Rams would be better – great. The team will feel that they have done a good thing and will understand why they did it.

But if they are bullied, we create resentment and turn the Crusaders’ flag and jersey into a symbol that will be taken up by disgruntled fans and adopted by darker forces. We should leave the Crusaders alone to change or stay the same.

…this change has been thoughtfully considered by those who run the Crusaders and their desire to show symbolic change in the wake of a white supremacist atrocity is genuine and should be respected as such.

I know that for many low horizon imagination NZers, this change is scary because change is scary. But I imagine they are also frightened by books, eclipses and Twitter.

It is not even a month after this atrocity, so we must remind ourselves to reflect the dignity the Muslim community themselves have shown so even if you do feel that the name change is silly or misplaced, tuck it in your pants and put your big person trousers on.

Now is the time to be adults, not spoilt children. Changing the name of a rugby team is not ‘letting the terrorist win’, it shows we’ve actually gained some cultural maturity.

If the worst well intentioned cultural knee-jerks to this atrocity are a rugby franchise name change, rushed but necessary gun laws, the PM wearing a headscarf in solidarity and a suggested Muslim Prayer on ANZAC Day – then we should be proud at the tolerance of our tolerance.

Let’s all grow up together.



  1. I was always curious how the crusaders naming and mascots ever passed muster post 9/11 from a terrorist target perspective, let alone the ignorance of what the term implies to other religions.
    It must change.
    The best symbol Christchurch can show the world though would be to rebuild the cathedral in the square, and a mosque directly across from it.

    • re “The best symbol Christchurch can show the world though would be to rebuild the cathedral in the square, and a mosque directly across from it.’

      ….I think feminists and Gays might have some objections to this…not to mention the good citizens of Christchurch

    • What’s next? A list of books from you that should be burned in public? Should Christchurch change it’s name too?

    • A mosque instead of a marae?

      Wow if anything should be built opposite the Cathedral it should be a Maori Marae dont you think?

      ….you guys are not showing a wee bit of male supremacist anti – NZ Maori ‘racism ‘ here….are you ?

      …you arent ignoring our tangata whenua are you ?

      ( typical male supremacists)

      • “Wow if anything should be built opposite the Cathedral it should be a Maori Marae dont you think?”

        Have you asked Maori? Or are you speaking on their behalf as well?!

      • Christianity and Islam are not races RB. They are religions.
        Practiced by people of all races.

        • Yes they are religions

          So you are telling me that Islam and the Koran ( which many regard as a the law above state secular law)is a bastion of feminist, woman’s rights and Gay rights?…

          …because many in the secular West do not think so….the feminists and Gays in the West have fought long and hard against discrimination….Muslim feminists and Gays are incredibly brave when they stand up and fight for their human rights

          Gay rights?….to have Gay partners?…to have children?…

          Womens’ rights?..pre marital sex, extra marital sex, contraception, abortion, divorce…equal employment , equal education….without discrimination and punishment, even death

          How does traditional Islam fit with traditional Maori values?…( Have you even read the Koran?….I have)

          Why did you not suggest a tangata whenua Marae in the Square?

          ( male patriarchal supremacy and colonialist racism?

          • Hard line Christians are also intolerant. Or insert any religion here.
            By embracing moderates of any faith, everyone would see the benefits of tolerance.

            • Agreed…but most Western Christian churches have been through the Reformation and the Law is State not Christian… and the West is largely secularised

              …and feminist rights and Gay rights are now status quo…long and hard fought for

              (maybe you havent noticed this?…being a ‘white male supremacist’?).

              Besides which lets have a great big Marae in Cathedral Square…and celebrate our tangata whenua and Maori Pagan nature worshipping cultural heritage

              (…or are you now contemplating calling it Mosque Square?)

              • And let’s take off the red cross on the NZ flag which refers to Richard Lionheart 3rd Crusade.

  2. I tend to disagree, this is exactly some of the stuff the terrorist wanted to achieve, to send a chill down some people’s spines and nerves, so to polarise society even more.

    While I take little interest in rugby and in a team calling themselves the ‘Crusaders’, I feel it is going too far to force or willfully adopt a name change.

    This is exactly what people like Don Brash will jump at with great passion, to press for their arguments and case.

    The Crusades were sadly a fact of history, and so were the fights fought by Muslims in the form of jihad or whatsoever in return.

    You can read the details in various books, or visit Wikipedia or other forums for a summary.

    If they tone their ‘Crusader’ image down a bit, that should suffice.

    But if you think that they should feel compelled to change the name, perhaps start renaming most city and other places all over New Zealand, by ridding street names and so off the name ‘Cook’ (i.e. James Cook), off other colonial names, so to abolish anything historical that may upset some Maori who did not experience all that nice stuff coming from the ‘visitors’ from the Motherland and other places, many of whom then decided to stay as settlers.

    We are heading into waters as I feared, yes expected.

    Let us rewrite history now, let us go about it now, anything that may offend someone has to be ‘corrected’ and got rid of now.

    Mission partly accomplished some right wing and truly racist fanatics will think.

    • I feel it comes down to what the team wants to represent. Arguably far more egregious than the name itself is their logo and mascot representing a medieval Catholic crusader, whom were historically charged to convert and/or eliminate all heretics which at the time were agreed to be primarily Muslim.
      They can argue the name is simply a descriptive for anyone on any sort of holy mission but the guy with the sword and the cross displays a very specific and shameful series of chapters in our colonial forefathers’ ancestors’ history.
      It’s up to them, but personally I wouldn’t want such an icon to represent anything I’m about any more than a Nazi or anyone from Westlife.

  3. Comes to mind that in some Muslim dominated countries the cross is seen as being an offensive symbol, hence they do not allow the Red Cross to be active there, only their colleagues of the Red Crescent.

    So shall we also tell our Red Cross members and volunteers to abandon the cross as their symbol, perhaps?

  4. How about changing the All Blacks to something else?

    …..’All Blacks’ sounds like ‘Black Supremacy’ and exclusivity ….we must be politically correct

    ….and New Zealand is Dutch….and that is more ‘white supremacy’ so let change our name away from New Zealand ….how about ‘Melting Pot ‘ of the South Pacific

    ….lets have a cultural revolution and burn the history books…anyone who checks NZ history books gets 10-14 years immediate jail

    ….while we are at it lets have another go at changing the flag to what John Key and the Greens wanted….RED PEAK !

    This is kinda interesting

      • I dunno. “All Blacks” could understandably be construed by social justice warriors as a form of “racial appropriation”, no? Certainly similarly (if not more) justifiable than renaming the “The Crusaders” out of respect for an event that had exactly nothing to do with New Zealand that occurred in 1095-1291 AD (i.e. over 700 years ago)

          • I’m being facetious, obviously. But if “Crusaders” is offensive for the connection to an event that occurred over 700 years ago, “All Blacks” could just as easily be offensive to a black people using the same sort of mental gymnastics. I now do wonder if e.g African Americans were to make a brouhaha about the “All Blacks” brand which side you would be inclined to take.
            Come to think of it, surely “The All Whites” NZ soccer team are sounding awfully “white supremacist” now? Can’t have that.

            • “All blacks” does have ironic connotations, deliberately I think to initially mock the English who “mis spoke” commentating on the playing style of the originals.
              “All whites” as a lame copy is the dumbest name in world history for a sports team IMO also probably offensive to some.

        • ‘Crusader’ or ‘crusade’ is part of the English language now….and does not necessarily have historical religious referents

          eg crusader for peace ….on a crusade for justice …crusader for animal rights ….on a crusade for getting rid of sugary drinks

          ( are we going to ban the word ‘crusade’ and ‘crusader’ with 10-14 years imprisonment for using it?)

          …so they should keep the name Crusader imo….and rattle and wave their imaginary swords and lead the charge into the the North Island infidel…and ride their imaginary horses into the scrums…and beat em at rugby

    • We could change the crusaders to the “Christchurch bottlers” or the “Canterbury dry aquifers” or what about the “nitrates”.
      Lots of options.
      Since rugby is political, at least since we got lectured on who to vote for by the All Blacks (National, who’s policies are ruining the environment there)it’s fair game surely?

      • The Canterbury Cowpats? Kidding, love you Christchurch. I thought the Chilblains but too negative, while the Shakers is probably the last thing Cantabrians want to be reminded of. The Kinetics? Don’t know how it relates to the region but it sounds snazzy.

      • the bottlers of Christchurch aquifers are the Chinese aided and abetted by the Christchurch Labour Party Mayor’s husband

        …the bottlers are not rugby players or Crusaders

  5. I don’t think they should change their name but I do think people need to think a little bit deeper and harder about names chosen and given to places, people, businesses etc because we have sat on our laurels in this country for too long. And we should not be bringing immigrants and refugees to our country if we can’t look after them properly and ensure they are safe. I’m sick of all the Maori bashing about our names and spelling of our names and places etc so if this massacre has done anything its made people start to think. Do we want this to happen again? and do we want someone else to emulate this ?

  6. Agreed. Anything whatsoever that potentially triggers someone’s delicate sensibilities should be immediately banned in New Zealand. For starter’s all people, place names, streets, sport teams, companies etc should be replaced by a number. That would be a good start. I want dibs on 8008135 though.

  7. Me thinks having to change your rugby teams name is going a bit far. What has this excellent team ever done to now be held is disdain because of other peoples actions. It’s only a name, and I think people are way too sensitive about this. I personally am deeply sorry the Muslim people were attacked, ashamed for some reason as others are, but I seen Kerian Read on TV saying they will do whatever it takes to help the situation repair itself somehow. A great leader showing great sympathy and I take my hat off to that response.

  8. Feckin rugby.
    Typical that this would be an issue so close to an massacre of innocent people.
    No matter the situation we have to have rugby as a focal point in anything we have to deal with as a country.
    Even Money boy Williams had to interfere in this time of sincere grief and the media had to run with it.
    We will never mature as a country.

  9. Just my thoughts, Mosa. It is a ridiculous storm in a teacup and beyond satire – renaming a rugby team because of supposed cultural/religious sensitivity of a very small minority.* What next? In any case, always it seems to one-sided and lacking in historical perspective – Muslims conquered half of Spain and got to the gates of Vienna. Do they cringe at flaunting Islamic symbols in the faces of other religions and peoples of Europe? The Christchurch (oops, better rename THAT one while you are at it !!) slaughterer is winning every time these pantomimes and woke discussions get aired. Truly, grow up.

    *Why not “Knights”? They can still prance around on horseback but for “culturally sensitive reasons” avoid using the Christian cross as a symbol (or paint it a different colour from red).

  10. Why should the Crusaders change their name? The politics of the Crusades were pretty complex, but they were intended as a defensive campaign against the Turkish (Muslim) invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire (which we now call the Byzantine Empire). The Byzantine emperor appealed for military help against the Turks, who had conquered most of Anatolia (as well as much of the Middle East) and were getting uncomfortably close to Constantinople.

    That considered, if Muslims are offended by the word “Crusade”, it suggests a curious sense of entitlement – apparently European/Christian attempts to halt the expansion of Islam were unreasonable.

    What’s needed now is not more “symbolic gestures” (we’ve already seen plenty of those since 15th March), but decisive practical steps to reduce the risk of this sort of atrocity happening again. Taking semi-automatics off the shelves is a good start (why were they on the shelves in the first place???), and requiring registration of ALL firearms would be even better.

  11. The answer is so bloody obvious only cantabrians would object.

    It is very historically relevant, and therefore has some “cultural relevance”.


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