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LETTER: Names matter

We are in rapidly shifting times on all fronts, none more so than when it comes to the constant, and essential, examination of our collective histories and the language we use to communicate our perspectives, views, and values.

Generally speaking, since we don’t have a formal process to revisit and revise language in a context of shifting norms, we rely on incidents and individuals to draw attention to words, phrases, and titles that have connotations that are unacceptable in today’s world but remain unexamined.

The recent atrocity in New Zealand has cast light on so much and it is to be hoped that we will all learn lessons from this despicable act.

One such learning has been that a Christchurch rugby club using the name “Crusaders” has reflected that the term refers to the soldiers in Christian armies historically fighting to take back the Holy Land from Muslim rule and that it may well be time to discard the name.

The name “Crusaders” is used by many Canadian sports teams representing schools, and others, and they may well be unaware of the origins and meaning of the nomenclature. I call on them to discard the name immediately and adopt a moniker that is inclusive and appropriate.

William Radford

St. John’s.

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