Margaret Court Arena won’t be renamed despite player’s opposition to same-sex marriage
The Margaret Court Arena won’t be renamed despite the venue’s namesake having expressed renewed opposition to same-sex marriage.
Margarate Court, who won a record 64 grand slams, this week caused controversy when she said she would boycott Quantas Airways because of the company’s support for same-sex marriage.
In a letter to gay Qantas boss Alan Joyce she wrote: “I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage. I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.
“Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling.”
She has since been called out by fellow tennis icon Martina Navratilova, who said the comments had gone “too far”.
Now Peter FitzsSimons, the chair of Australia’s Republican Movement called for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed in the Sydney Morning Herald.
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The venue is used in the Australian Open.
But Tennis Australia has tweeted, responding to say: “As a legend of the sport, we respect Margaret Court’s achievements in tennis and her unmatched playing record. Her personal views are her own, and do not align with Tennis Australia’s values of equality, inclusion and diversity.”
Because of her comments, singer Ryan Adams tweeted: “Hey Margaret Court, a PAGAN who STRONGLY SUPPORTS marriage equality (get a prenup tho) will play the arena named for you tomorrow.”
A senior Nine News correspondent in Australia also tweeted:”I’ll never set foot in Margaret Court Arena again because of this.”
Court and Navratilova very publicly fell out over the issue previously.
In 2011, Court sparked controversy when she said that gay people were “aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take.”
This drew ire from her fellow tennis legends, with lesbian icon Martina Navratilova saying that Court had failed to “evolve” with the rest of society.
She was also roundly condemned by Billie Jean King, who won 39 grand slam titles.