FCS school drops nickname over concerns about 'aggressive religious oppression and violence'
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of teams and universities change nicknames or retire mascots. Illinois no longer uses Chief Illiniwek. The Washington Football Team dropped its original nickname before the 2020 season.
Now, an FCS school is doing away with its nickname.
Per a press release, Valparaiso is dropping its “Crusaders” nickname. The university president explained why (via USA TODAY):
University interim president Colette Irwin-Knott said in a video news release the Crusaders mascot promotes “aggressive religious oppression and violence” the school doesn’t want to project.
She cited use of “crusader” imagery in recent hate speech and by the Ku Klux Klan.
Valparaiso is an FCS school located in Indiana. It plays in the Pioneer Football Conference.
A new nickname has yet to be chosen.