independent.ie– The governing body for quidditch in the UK has announced its intention to “distance” itself from Harry Potter author JK Rowling following her “hateful” comments on gender identity.
The broomstick-borne sport of quidditch was influenced by Ms Rowling’s best-selling wizard novels and invented in the United States in 2005, before taking off in the UK.
Quidditch is a mixed-gender sport, “grea tly encouraging” those who identify with the trans and non-binary community to partake.
Yesterday, Quidditch UK announced they were supporting proposals by US Quidditch to rename the sport, after the writer attracted criticism for her views on gender identity.
In a statement, they said: “The issues surrounding both the Warner Brothers trademark and JK Rowling’s remarks and statements against the transgender members of our community have accelerated this desire to move our branding away from the ‘quidditch’ name and shift towards our own identity.
“Quidditch, as it is played in the United Kingdom and throughout the world, has been steadily growing further beyond Harry Potter and the wider franchise, and this shift will allow more opportunities for growth.
“More importantly, distancing ourselves from JK Rowling will cement the sport and community as the inclusive space it already is. Since our inception, the inclusion of all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, or background has been a cornerstone of our sport.
“We cannot continue to call ourselves quidditch and be associated with JK Rowling while she continues to make damaging and hateful comments against the many transgender athletes, staff, and volunteers who call this sporting community home.
“We intend to work with US Quidditch, the International Quidditch Association, and the other international governing bodies to move forward with this change.”
In the past, Ms Rowling, 56, has said she was partly motivated to speak out about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Critics have accused the writer of being transphobic, an allegation she strongly denies.
The author has also been publicly criticised by Harry Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.