Teenager Says He Was Disqualified From A Pokémon Tournament Over Pronouns

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A teenager from Utah says that he was disqualified from a Pokémon tournament, and it wasn’t because he cheated. He says it was because of what happened when a tournament judge asked him about his pronouns.

According to Pokémon player Makani Tran, the disqualification came after an exchange with a judge concerning his preferred pronouns at a tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tran wrote on the website TwitLonger, that he was 5-0 at the tournament and was given a sixth-round matchup against a well-known player. This made Tran — who is a minor by the way; keep that in the back of your head — a little nervous.

The fact that his match was going to be streamed only exacerbated those nerves.

“Keep in mind, I’ve been on stream two times prior but it’s still always nerve racking being in front of so many people,” he wrote.

A Simple Misunderstanding For Most, A Major Affront To The Woke

Trans’ recollection of events said that while making his way to the table, a judge asked him for his preferred pronouns.

“I said ‘Um he or him or uh’ and I paused trying to think of the third pronoun (the third pronoun being his). As I just stood there looking stupid trying to think of the third pronoun I felt embarrassed because I was failing to think of a simple word,” Tran said. “Due to the nerves and me being embarrassed I let out a little laugh just a normal nervous laugh. My response together ended up being ‘Um he or him or uhhhh haha his.’ That’s it.”

If you think you’ve never filled an uncomfortable moment with nervous laughter, then you’re lying.

The judge asked a second time. Tran said his answer was tagged with a little bit of laughter to cut down the awkwardness.

Most people would understand this, but apparently, the judge is not the kind of person who picks up on conversational nuance.

“The judge looked at me and said ‘okay just wanted to check to be safe. I go by they/them so don’t be a jerk about it,'” Tran wrote.

Aaaaand cue the Curb Your Enthusiasm music.

Pokemon Cards
A stack of Pokémon cards like the one Makani Tran was playing with before getting unceremoniously disqualified. (Photo by Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT (Photo by IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Tran Was Disqualified Over The Exchange

While Tran wrote that the judge didn’t do anything in the moment. However, in the middle of his game, another judge asked him to explain what happened regarding the pronouns question. Tran explained the nervous laugh, but apparently, that didn’t cut it with the Pokémon tournament powers that be.

Tran said that at first, the head judge seemed to understand the misunderstanding. However, he was then told he had been DQed for violating the tournament’s “inclusive policy.”

“I remember saying ‘Wait what?’ I was so confused I had just explained very calmly what had happened and he seemed that he was listening,” he writes.

The news that he had been disqualified hit him hard.

“I was stunned I asked to sit down on a nearby chair to try and process what was going on.”

Tran said he was reduced to tears after unsuccessfully asking to appeal. Remember, he’s a minor.

“I’ve never cried the way I cried that night,” Tran said. “I told him that I didn’t even have service and I had no way to contact anyone and didn’t even have a key to my hotel room that I would’ve had to walk to.

“I’m being completely honest with everyone when I say have never been this upset in my entire life,” he said.

Wow, great job with that inclusivity, folks.

These Pokémon Tournament Judges Tipped Their Hands As Lousy People

As is so often the case with people waging a personal crusade for quote “inclusivity,” they’ll stomp on anyone they can en route to their endgame. What that is, I have no idea. I reckon they don’t know either. They just enjoy the iota of power that comes with demanding someone bend to your will in the name of “inclusivity.”

It’s truly one of the more enraging instances of wokeness running amok that I’ve ever heard. Adults making a kid cry over a misunderstanding centered around pronouns? At a Pokémon Card tournament no less. What sad, sorry people. People who were likely bullied growing up and who love nothing more than dishing it out if given the chance. Even if that means doing it to some kid who didn’t deserve it.

That judge who freaked out about the pronouns is obviously not a good person. All too frequently that’s the case with woke people. They masquerade as inclusive, caring people when in reality their vindictive power-trippers who love nothing more than when someone — even a kid — runs afoul of whatever rules they happen to have made up.

This legitimately had my blood working toward a boil. To quote a fuming and flustered Clark Griswold, “Hallelujah! Holy s–t; where’s the Tylenol?”

Tran’s Friends Rallied Around Him

Now, with that said, I am pleased to report that there’s a silver lining to this story.

Believe it or not.

While the behavior of the people organizing that tournament is nothing short of disgusting, Makani Tran has himself a solid group of friends, who understand that he did nothing wrong.

One of those friends started a GoFundMe to help the young Pokémon player. The idea was to help recoup the money he spent to attend the tournament. The campaign’s goal was $1,500 and already it had raised nearly $2,800.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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