Two major Quidditch leagues have said they plan to cut ties with JK Rowling as a result of her ‘anti-trans positions’ by changing the name of the game.
US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch, which play a real-life version of the fictional sport created by Rowling for the Harry Potter series, issued a joint statement confirming that they planned to choose a new name for their game to both distance themselves from the author and avoid future copyright issues.
While citing issues arising from the use of the current name, which according to USA Today is trademarked by Warner Bros. and prevent teams from pursuing commercial opportunities, the leagues directly pointed to Rowling’s comments over recent years, which have seen fans and former cast members of the films distance themselves from the author, as a significant reason for the change.
‘The leagues are hoping a name change can help them continue to distance themselves from the works of JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years,’ they said.
‘Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity,’ the statement reads, adding that ‘both organizations feel it is imperative to live up to this reputation in all aspects of their operations and believe this move is a step in that direction.’
Quidditch has long implemented rules aimed at encouraging gender exclusivity, including stipulating that only four players of any one gender can be on the field at the same time.
Alex Benepe, who adapted the sport of Quidditch to make it playable in real life while attending university in Vermont in 2005, leant his support to the change, saying, ‘Big changes like this don’t come without risk, but I’ve been a strong advocate for making this move for a long time. The sport needs its own space without limits on its growth potential and changing the name is crucial to achieving that.’
Rowling has not commented on the plans.
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