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‘Harry Potter’-inspired sport to change name over Rowling stance

The US-based Quidditch associations are exploring new names for the sport, adapted from a fictional game played in the wizarding universe of ‘Harry Potter’ books and films, citing copyright woes and the author’s “transphobia.”

US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) issued a joint statement on pursuing renaming possibilities on Wednesday, but it didn’t catch media attention until Friday. MLQ Commissioner Amanda Dallas said both leagues have been “quietly collecting research” and discussing it extensively with trademark lawyers “for the last year or so.”

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“Renaming the sport opens up so many more revenue opportunities for both organizations, which is crucial to expansion,” said USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball, adding that picking a new shared trademark would enable both leagues to “pursue sponsorships, broadcasting on major TV networks and other projects that’ll address some of the biggest barriers to playing the sport, like access to equipment.”


The term ‘quidditch’ is currently trademarked by Warner Bros. as part of the licensing rights for J.K. Rowling’s best-selling book series. While this is officially cited as the primary reason for the name change, the leagues did admit they wanted to “distance themselves from the works” of Rowling, “who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions” in recent years.

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“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,” the joint statement said. “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.”

Rowling first drew the ire of transgender advocates in 2019, when she publicly defended an accountant fired for referring to trans women as biologically male. Just this week, she mocked Scottish police’s classification of trans rapists as women and assigning them to female prisons.


“The sport needs its own space without limits on its growth potential and changing the name is crucial to achieving that,” said Alex Benepe, who together with Xander Manshel adapted the fictional sport in 2005, at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Manshel and Benepe’s version tries to get around the inability to fly by having players run around the field with broomsticks between their legs. The magical “golden snitch” worth the most points is attached to the pants of a “snitch runner” who must evade the opposing team. It is “one of the few mixed-gender full contact sports,” according to the International Quidditch Association, which has a tally of more than 450 teams in over 30 countries.

ADVERTISEMENT 18, 2021 at 05:57AM
from RT – Daily news

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