Quidditch is being renamed following JK Rowling's anti-trans comments
20 December 2021, 17:04
"The leagues are hoping a name change can help them continue to distance themselves from the works of JK Rowling."
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Quidditch originated as a fictional sport created by Rowling for the Harry Potter book series. In the game, wizards and witches fly on broomsticks and compete in teams to try and catch a little ball with wings called the Golden Snitch. However, in 2005 a real-life version of the game was created in which the players run with broomsticks instead of flying.
In a joint press release, US Quidditch (USQ) and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) revealed that they would be rebranding. The statement read: "…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."
In the next few months, USQ and MLQ will finalise plans for a new name after conducting a series of surveys. Proposed new names include: Quickball, Quicker, Quidstrike and Quadraball.
The statement continued: "Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity, in part thanks to its gender maximum rule, which stipulates that a team may not have more than four players of the same gender on the field at a time.
"Both organisations 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."
In response, a spokesperson from The Blair Partnership literary agency, who represent JK Rowling, told BBC News: "The Quidditch Premier League, US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch have never been endorsed or licensed by JK Rowling."
Rowling has made several offensive statements about trans people in recent years and aligned herself with the trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) movement. However, she has denied being transphobic.
The main cast of the Harry Potter movies – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – have all condemned her comments and she will not be involved in the upcoming Harry Potter reunion, titled Return to Hogwarts, to celebrate the 20th anniversary.