Fans Urge Margaret Court Arena to be Re-Named Over Her Anti-LGBTQ Comments

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday September 17, 2020

Margaret Court
Margaret Court  (Source:AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

Three-time Grand Slam victor and former world champion tennis player Andy Murray has chimed in with his agreement that Margaret Court Arena, a sports complex in Melbourne, Australia, should no longer be named for tennis legend Margaret Court, whose anti-LGBTQ comments have "offended and upset a lot of people," reports UK newspaper The Guardian.

The British news outlet noted that "The 78-year-old Court, who holds the all-time record of 24 major singles titles, has been heavily criticized for voicing her religious-based opposition to same-sex marriage and transgender athletes."

Yahoo News reports that Murray said, "When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court's views detract from that."

Saying that the Australian Open "should consider" renaming the arena, Murray opined, "I don't think her values are what tennis stands for."

Among her controversial remarks, Yahoo News recalled, Court - who is now a Christian pastor in Perth - "once praised South Africa's apartheid system, said 'tennis is full of lesbians' and described transgender children as 'the work of the devil'."

Murray's comments echo those of other tennis greats, including Martina Navritilova and Billie Jean King, both of whom are openly lesbian.

In 2018, King said of Court that she "was fine until lately when she said so many derogatory things about my community," adding, "I'm a gay woman".

King said that her personal view was that Court's name should no longer be on the stadium.

Court was honored at this year's Australian Open with an ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of her 1970 Grand Slam victory. In advance of the ceremony, Tennis Australia made a point of distancing itself from Court's views, saying they "do not align with our values of equality, diversity and inclusion."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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