Two Quidditch leagues have announced they want to live up to the reputation of being progressive and inclusive.
The muggle world of magic doesn't want to associate itself with J.K. Rowling on account of the author's transphobic comments in the recent past. Two U.S. Quidditch leagues are planning to adopt a new name for the sport inspired from the 'Harry Potter' series. US Quidditch (USQ) and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) are planning a name change on account of J.K. Rowling repeatedly doubling down on transphobic comments and trademark issues surrounding the name. The sport was inspired by the airborne game on broomsticks in the 'Harry Potter' series and was adapted to be played on the ground. Now, the leagues, which are drawing supporters and fanfare, don't want to be associated with Rowling and the name "Quidditch" anymore, reported CNN.
The leagues have announced they will carry a survey to choose a new name for the sport as per a joint statement published December 15. "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," read a statement published on their website. The leagues argued that it was a progressive and inclusive sport, more than any other game due 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 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," the statement continued.
The author has often defined 'women' to exclude transwomen. Rowling's transphobia came to light when she stepped in to defend nonprofit social justice employee Maya Forstater, who was fired from her position for attacking transgender individuals on social media. She even went to the extent of writing a book under a man's pseudonym, portraying a man who wears dresses to murder women. The transphobic trope has been used to death in the film industry as well with 'Psycho' being one of the popular ones that contributed to transphobia.
Rowling has denied being transphobic but refused to see transwomen as women. When an article's headline referred to people who menstruate, she further doubled down on her transphobia, writing, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Actor Daniel Radcliffe who played Harry Potter in the movie franchise spoke out for trans people at the time. “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I,” said the actor. He also pointed out that 78% of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity, citing stats from the Trevor Project. “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and non-binary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm,” he said.
The two leagues announced they wanted to expand the sport and the only way to do that was to leave behind the name "quidditch" which is trademarked by Warner Bros. "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," continued USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball in the statement. "Renaming the sport opens up so many more revenue opportunities for both organizations, which is crucial to expansion."