Real-life Quidditch to change its name partly to distance itself from J.K. Rowling's 'anti-trans positions'

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jk rowling
J. K. Rowling attends HBO's "Finding The Way Home" world premiere on December 11, 2019.Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
  • Real-life Quidditch said it plans to change it's name partly to distance itself from J.K. Rowling's "anti-trans positions."

  • Two Quidditch organizations said that the author's views did not reflect the sport's "progressive" values.

  • They also said that the Warner Bros. trademark on the name had limited its ability to expand.

The real-life sport of Quidditch, inspired by the sport in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series, will change its name, partly because of the author's "anti-trans positions," two organizations announced.

US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch said in a joint statement on Wednesday that they have begun selecting a new name.

The organizations said that the Quidditch name, trademarked by Warner Bros., had limited the sport's expansion by restricting sponsorship and broadcast opportunities.

They added that they hoped the name change would distance themselves from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, "who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years."

They wrote that their sport had developed a reputation for being one of the "most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity."

It includes a "gender maximum rule," which requires teams to not have more than four players of the same gender on the field at a time.

The groups said they believed it was "imperative to live up to this reputation" in all aspects of their operations and that the name change would be a step in that direction.

In recent years, J.K. Rowling has generated controversy for making comments about the trans community and being denounced as transphobic.

After Rowling published a 4,000-word blog post about her views on "gender issues" last year, several Harry Potter actors, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, publicly condemned her comments.

"I believe Quidditch is at a turning point. We can continue the status quo and stay relatively small, or we can make big moves and really propel this sport forward into its next phase," USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball said in a statement.

The two organizations said they would be polling stakeholders with different name options and included a link to a survey in the press release.

The survey included options for new names, including "Quickball," "Quidstrike," and "Quadraball."

In the Harry Potter books, Quidditch is played by two teams flying on broomsticks and attempting to score goals.

The real-life version, first adapted at Middlebury College in Vermont in 2005, involves players running while mounted on broomsticks instead of flying.

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