MLS side Columbus Crew SC will be undergoing changes to its name and crest, rebranding as Columbus SC.
Rumors of club remodeling escalated over the weekend after information about the rebrand was leaked, and was met with fierce criticism.
The Dispatch then confirmed that the team will now be known as Columbus SC or Columbus Soccer Club.
Crew, a word once vital to the roots of the team, will no longer feature in the official team name or crest, but will stand instead as a nickname seen around the stadium and on merchandise.
The club took to Twitter to announce the official change on Monday, and has been met with almost universal backlash.
The team’s official statement reassures supporters that “crew” isn’t gone, but fans have continued to condemn the changes.
“The Crew and the Black and Gold remain at our core, and we continue to embrace and respect our heritage while modernizing our marks as our club and the city of Columbus evolve. We look forward to revealing those in their entirety in the near future,” the statement read.
The Columbus side has a longstanding history with the word ‘crew’. Founded in 1994 as one of 10 pioneering MLS sides, the Columbus Crew kicked off in a unique manner. A Dublin resident suggested the name in a competition held by a local newspaper.
He submitted Columbus Crew, linking it to Christopher Columbus and his crew of voyagers. The administration transformed the idea to represent midwestern hard work instead. The logo shifted to feature three construction workers that boasted the slogan ‘America’s hardest working team’.
Flocks of fans rallied around the side, using the word ‘crew’ to bind supporters groups. It quickly became an identity.
In 2018, Columbus supporters used that bond to wage a year-long campaign to prevent the side from relocating to Austin, Texas. The tenacious fight mounted a magnificent effort that invoked MLS to strike a deal with owners and null the move.
Now, after years of commitment to the team, fans feel neglected and shocked by the sudden remodeling. Even former Columbus player Justin Meram disagrees with the change.
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