Australian tennis legend Margaret Court has said there is a militant gay conspiracy acting against her.
Court, who has won more grand slam titles than any other player, sparked controversy last week when she said she was boycotting Qantas Airways because of its support for same-sex marriage.
Condemnation from lesbian grand slam champion Martina Navratilova, Australian number one Sam Stosur and world number one player Andy Murray has followed, but the legend has not backed down.
In fact, Court – who has a stadium named after her at the Australian Open grand slam – has doubled down, comparing LGBT activists to Hitler and saying trans children were influenced by the devil.
This led Navratilova to call Court “a racist and a homophobe,” adding that she was “demonising trans kids and trans adults everywhere.
She added that the former champion’s remarks were “sick” and “dangerous.”
In response, Court today launched into a conspiracy theory on Melbourne’s 3AW radio at the idea that the Margaret Court Arena might be renamed because of her comments.
“I think I’ve won more Grand Slams than any man or woman and if it is (renamed), I don’t believe I deserve it,” the 24-time grand slam singles champion said.
“They could probably get 100,000 petitions in 24 hours because that’s how they work.
“There’s a lot of money behind it, and it’s coming from America.”
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She was then asked if she thought a conspiracy was behind the initiative, to which she said: “Yes, I believe there is…I think the (gay) lobby, yeah.
“They are a minority in number but they do have a lot of money behind them.”
After complaining last week that gay people were persecuting her, Court again said that there was “a lot of bullying from the other way”.
She added: “My nephew, with the Margaret Court tennis academy in Albury, he’s had his computers just trashed.
“I don’t want any more of it. Enough’s enough but they will keep doing it and it’s very militant and it’s sad to think that.
“But really, I have nothing against them,” Court added.
Earlier this week, she said that LGBT tendencies in young people were “all the devil”.
She added that older lesbian tennis stars have influenced younger players.