Duncan Garner: The Crusaders should remain the Crusaders

Opinion 04/04/2019

The Crusaders are going to change their name - can you believe this? They're going to do this in time for 2020 season. By then, I promise you, the size of the overreaction will be massive - even bigger than what it is now. I bet you're asking why? 

I'm so disappointed by this. Initially rugby bosses and those responsible at the Crusaders were equally aghast at the suggestion to change the name. Leave rugby out of it - they pushed back privately but you can only imagine the language and the positioning.

But then, they buckled to the event, the pressure, the terror and wanting to be on the side of what they thought was right.

Medieval England - bad, bad, bad. Never mind that the mosques and Muslim community of Christchurch had never made a fuss about this before, it's not like the Crusaders had in-boxes full of complaints.

No, they had lines and lines of kids at the door buying jerseys and tickets for the game's best franchise ever.

This is a flop of a decision. I am angry about it and stand with the people of Christchurch and New Zealand who think it's bloody ridiculous.

Changing the name of the world's best rugby team bar the All Blacks because of this terror attack is exactly what shouldn't happen. It's a knee jerk reaction, a face palm moment, white man's guilt on display in spades.

Many times over the years I have thought the NZR bosses have had their rugby heads in the sand, chauvinistic, rugby racing and beer above everything else.

Yet, on this one perhaps, they're desperately trying to make up for failures of the past.

I want to say this clearly.

The Crusaders should remain the Crusaders. They're not responsible for medieval England or a deluded monster who deserves to rot in hell.

It's been said before a hundred times, we cannot let the gunman win - so what do we do? We let his influence not just creep into our lives but smash down the door of the Crusaders changing room. Steve Tew should resign for letting this happen, or at least have resigned saying, 'not on my watch so I'm leaving on a point of principle'.

Sad day.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.