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Major League Quidditch rebrands as 'Quadball'

Amid trademark concerns and controversy tied to J.K. Rowling, Quidditch is now being rebranded to "Quadball."

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, thank you, Seana. Quidditch, the fictional turned real life sport inspired by Harry Potter is getting a makeover. Major League Quidditch and the International Quidditch Association announced Tuesday the sport will now be called Quadball. Why? Well, the new name refers to the four balls used in a match.

The group cites trademark concerns and a desire to distance themselves from Harry Potter creator JK Rowling as reasons for the change. The leagues have lost out on business opportunities over the name, something they hope to rectify. And they really want to distance themselves from Rowling and her quote, anti-trans positions, that have received so much negative publicity over the last couple of years. The author has come under fire in recent years for some controversial comments and tweets about the transgender community.

Now without delving into those specific statements, I want to say this. JK Rowling has had more influence in a positive way over an entire generation than any living American, any living foreigner, any person on this planet, and it ain't even close. I would even factor in the late Steve Jobs, and still say JK has positively impacted a generation's lives more so because of the influence social media has had on the negative direction.

JK Rowling taught kids how to read again. It made them love books. It changed the publishing industry. Harry Potter sold 500 million copies worldwide. almost 200 million copies right here in the United States. And as a father of two girls who consumed every Harry Potter book not once, but twice, and then it was the gateway drug to four or five other series that they then loved, I am forever grateful to JK and the creation that really changed this world in a positive way.

Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that we don't agree with everything someone says, or tweets, or believes, Seana. I don't know how you feel about that. But I do believe the impact she has had is unrivaled.

SEANA SMITH: She has had a massive impact. I don't think anyone can discount that, or really argue with that. I don't think it's surprising that the league though and the game is trying to distance themselves from her, just because of those comments and the backlash that she did receive. Real quick though, on the game, I had no idea how popular it was, Dave.

It's played in 40 countries, has over 600 teams, and it goes back to what you were talking about, just the influence that she has had, this community that she has created and what she has done, not only for people who love to read, but also for people who love to play quidditch and this sport.

DAVE BRIGGS: Rochelle? I mean, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, and I think in terms of the controversy, it can be hard to separate the art from the artist, especially if it's something that you love very much, but you don't necessarily agree with the artist or the creator's perspective. So I do understand that.

ROCHELLE AKUFFO: Regarding this quidditch though, I didn't even know it was a thing. I am mortified, because I would have absolutely signed up for this. I would have done this in a heartbeat. In a heartbeat.

SEANA SMITH: I know.

DAVE BRIGGS: You do know they run around with brooms, right? Like, brooms. I mean, I'm just saying. I love Harry Potter.

ROCHELLE AKUFFO: Don't we do that anyway?

[LAUGHTER]

ROCHELLE AKUFFO: That's when we're vacuuming and doing other things?

DAVE BRIGGS: I'm going to regret that forever.