J.K. Rowling’s anti-transgender stance makes quidditch leagues change sport’s name
Quidditch organizations have begun the process of changing the name of their sport, which is a live-action version of a fictional game from the “Harry Potter” franchise, partly because of author J.K. Rowling’s comments on transgender issues.
United States Quidditch and Major League Quidditch started a branding survey via the U.S. Quidditch website last Dec. 15. Available to quidditch players and stakeholders, it aims to create a vantage point for the game’s new name.
“The leagues are hoping a name change can help them continue to distance themselves from the works of J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years,” the two organizations explained in a joint press release on the U.S. Quidditch’s official website earlier this month.
“Both organizations feel it is imperative to live up to [its inclusive] reputation in all aspects of their operations and believe [changing the name of the sport] is a step in that direction.”
Mary Kimball, the executive director of U.S. Quidditch, also said that the name change is only one of the many transformations the live-action sport has undergone in the last 16 years.
“Since the sports’ founding in 2005, quidditch has undergone so many transformations — the rules have changed; team names and jerseys are incredibly creative, fun and professional; and our events look more like a soccer tournament than anything else,” she shared in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly on Monday, Dec. 20.
“I’m proud to stand with our community as we go through another big change, one that allows us to truly live our values as an inclusive, safe sport for athletes of all races and genders,” Kimball added.
Both leagues also cited “Harry Potter” production company Warner Brothers’ trademark on the word “quidditch” as a reason for the name change. They said that this setup has made it difficult for them to get sponsorships and broadcasting opportunities.
Rowling’s opinions on transgenders have gotten her in hot waters over the past year, with the author saying she has received death threats because of them. This has not stopped her, though, as she continued to make hostile statements about the transgender community earlier this month.
The cast of the Harry Potter series, notably Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, have all spoken out against the author’s comments on transgenders. JB
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