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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova slams ‘pathetic’ Margaret Court over bizarre transphobic sermon

Patrick Kelleher January 6, 2020
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova slams 'pathetic' Margaret Court over bizarre transphobic sermon

Margaret Court (L) (Paul Kane/Getty) and Martina Navratilova (R) ( Jason Koerner/Getty)

Martina Navratilova has slammed fellow tennis player Margaret Court over a bizarre anti-LGBT+ sermon in which she targeted trans youth.

In a recent sermon, the tennis-player turned Pentecostal minister hit out at transgender children, suggesting they should read the Bible instead of transitioning.

“You know, even that LGBT in the schools, it’s the devil, it’s not of God,” she said.

She said it is “so wrong” that children are transgender “because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm at that age, and they start to question ‘what am I?’” CNN reports.

Margaret Court hit out at transgender athletes in her bizarre diatribe.

“And you know with that LGBT, they’ll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women’s sports, they’re going to have so many problems.

“You have got young people taking hormones and having changes, by the time they are 17 they are thinking, ‘Now I’m a boy and really I was a girl.’”

Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it.

Court – who has been a controversial figure for some time due to her extreme religious views – was roundly criticised for the sermon, with tennis legend and lesbian Martina Navratilova leading the charge.

“It’s outrageous and so wrong,” she said of the comments. “We don’t need to change or re-write history when it comes to anyone’s accomplishments but we do not need to celebrate them. Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Margaret hasn’t changed her mind on gays so she sure won’t change it on trans either — amazing how strong her homophobia truly is,” she continued.

“Pathetic. In every way. Shame on Margaret.”

Martina Navratilova has come under fire in the past for her views on trans women competing in sport.

Navratilova’s comments are notable because she spent much of last year publicly grappling with the idea of transgender athletes competing in sport. The tennis star came under fire when she started writing and speaking publicly about her concerns about trans women competing at a professional level.

She was later forced to apologise for “suggesting that transgender athletes in general are cheats” but said there is no “perfect solution” to the issue. Following the furore, she presented a BBC documentary on the issue, after which she softened her views on trans women in sport.

However, in September of last year, Navratilova claimed at a summit in Scotland that including transgender women in sport is “tricky” and said her concerns are “about biology”.

Navratilova told Scotland Tonight: “It’s difficult because you want to be as inclusive as possible but you still want to have a fair situation, a level-playing field, as much as that is possible.

“By including transgender women in women’s and girls’ sports, now the women and girls that are playing, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m looking at someone that is much bigger, much stronger than I am, how is that fair?’”

Various LGBT+ sporting organisations, including Athlete Ally, have repeatedly argued that trans people have no competitive advantage in sport.

More: margaret court, Martina Navratilova

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