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Pokémon Professor Banned For Transphobic Behavior

By Xueyang
Mar. 14, 2023 updated 04:31

The Vancouver Pokémon regional tournament has been marred by reports of transphobic comments made by an officially sanctioned TCG judge towards multiple players. The accused judge, Travis Madaris, has reportedly been permanently banned from Play! Pokémon tournaments and stripped of his Professor/Judge title as a result.

The Play! Pokémon Equality, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Policy states that the company is committed to “fostering an environment that is inclusive to all participants regardless of factors, including but not limited to age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and/or disability.” This policy extends to “all members of the Play! Pokémon community,” including the Professors serving as judges in the tournaments.

Team Northwest, the tournament organizer and an official partner of The Pokémon Company, handled the situation in a timely manner, less than a day after the initial accusations were brought to their attention. However, players and tournament goers have reported that this isn't the first instance of discriminatory misconduct by a judge, which brings this type of issue into the community spotlight once again.

Player praising Team Northwest's reaction
Player praising Team Northwest's reaction

Players are calling for change from tournament organizers to prevent situations like this from happening again and to make the space safer for players moving forward. The hope is that this will ensure that Play! Pokémon policies aren't just there for show.

This incident comes just one week after a big policy update from Konami for official Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG tournaments addressed adjacent concerns in that community. Under the Unsporting Conduct section of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Infractions and Penalties Policy, players can now be disqualified for intentionally misgendering another person. This is a step in combating transphobic behavior to make players feel welcome and safe at these tournaments, and something other communities have pointed to as needing to be adopted or better enforced in games like Pokémon or Magic the Gathering.

The pressure is now on The Pokémon Company, Play! Pokémon, and their partners to make improvements to prevent interactions like this from happening in the future and live up to the inclusive environment they talk about fostering.

Source: Dot Esports