The Crusaders will look at a possible name change in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.
Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said in a statement his organisation understood the concerns raise and said the franchise's name will be reviewed.
The nine-time Super Rugby champions have had the name since the inaugural 1996 Super 12 season but it's come under question in the wake of the attack on the Muslim community which has left 50 dead and many more traumatised.
Historically, the Crusades were a series of religious and political wars between Christians and Muslims fought in 11th and 13th centuries.
"In light of recent events in Christchurch, we have heard some comments around the Crusaders team," Mansbridge said.
"Like all New Zealanders, the Crusaders team and organisation are deeply shocked by this tragedy and our thoughts are with the victims and their families. This is bigger than rugby and we're absolutely heartbroken for our wide community, which is where our thoughts are.
"In terms of the Crusaders name, we understand the concerns that have been raised. Us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading sprit of the community. What we stand for is the opposite of what happened in Christchurch on Friday; our crusade is one for peace, unity inclusiveness and community spirit.
"In our view, the is a conversation that we should have and we are taking on board all the feedback that we are receiving, however, we also believe that the time for that is not right now. Emotions are very raw and real at the moment. There is the need for this community to wrap our support around those who are most affected by Friday's events, and that is the immediate focus for the Crusaders team.
"At an appropriate time, we will thoroughly consider the issues that have been raised and our response to that. That will include conversations with a range of people, including our Muslim community."
The Crusaders will return to the field on Saturday in Sydney to face the Waratahs after Saturday's clash against the Highlanders was abandoned a day after the attacks.
The side's next home game is against the Brumbies in April 6.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission