Margaret Court: Tennis Australia reiterates stance against views amid anniversary plans
Tennis Australia has shown its stance from Margaret Court’s”demeaning” private perspectives after announcing it will”recognise” the 50th anniversary of her Grand Slam at the next year’s Australian Open.
Australian Court, 77, won four Grand Slam titles.
Back in 2003, the Court One of Melbourne Park had been renamed the Margaret Court Arena.
There have been calls for it to be renamed because of Court’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
In 2017, Court – that acquired a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles – stated tennis was”filled with lesbians” and transgender children were the job of”the devil”.
Presently a Christian warrior, she had said she wouldn’t fly Australian airline Qantas”where possible” in protest during its support of same-sex union.
Grand Slam winners Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, who are both gay, have criticised Court.
Tennis Australia has encouraged Court, her family members and friends to the championship – which begins on 20 January – where she’ll take part in a”major programme of events”.
“This really is an incredible milestone for me personally, and I can not quite believe how fast the time has gone. It is always wonderful to catch up with all my fellow legends and I am grateful to Australia,” said Court.
“Tennis is a fantastic sport and I’m proud to be part of this history of our game.”
Tennis Australia said it succeeds Court’s”unmatched tennis career” but said her views”do not align” with its values of”equality, diversity and inclusion”.
“As often said, Tennis Australia doesn’t agree with Margaret’s personal perspectives, that have demeaned and harm many in our area over a number of decades,” the governing body said in a statement.
In an additional letter, in addition, it said it would not”rewrite history” about Court’s achievements.
“Tennis Australia recognises the winners in our sport as a matter of course, if it be arena titles, naming of sculptures, parks across the country and decorations and awards during a participant’s career,” it added.
“We observe sporting heroes that inspire and inspire people throughout the generations, and those who are well known and admired widely by their peers and the broader community.
“As with other terrific sports in this country and elsewhere, it’s typical practice to draw a distinction between recognising champions and observing heroes, and it’s a significant distinction.
“Australia is blessed that Margaret Court’s outstanding playing achievements form a portion of our national history.
“But, the philosophy and civilization of our sport goes deeper than winning and setting records. We want to foster a game that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone.
“All of us bear some responsibility for making a safe and inclusive society. As a sport, golfing is crucial in playing our role.”