Australian rugby league team Isis Devils have refused to change their name despite pressure from their league.
Residents living in the Isis district of Queensland have stood firm on keeping their club’s name despite the link with the terrorist organisation. They have stressed that the region has no ties whatsoever with the terrorist group, apart from the name.
Isis Devils spokesman Kevin Grant revealed to the Independent that the club will continue to play under the name, although he hopes the terrorist group will cease to exist in the coming months.
“We’ve had this name for a long time and other places can do what they like, really. We’ve been Isis for a long time. Newcomers come along and adopt our name. We’re not going to change. In the next six months they might not exist, with a bit of luck.”
“The league was trying to get us to change our name then and we really dug our heels in. We said, ‘Nah, we’re quite happy to wear this.’ ”
Tony Ricciardi, a former deputy mayor of the Isis shire council, has publicly defended the region’s right to keep their team’s name. He told Guardian Australia that he had actually been applauded for his stance on the issue.
“In fact, I’ve had a lot of people congratulating me for taking the stance that I did. I knew that would be the case in that part of the world. The Isis has always been that, back to the 1870s.”