The tennis legend Margaret Court handles a barrage of criticism from former tennis players and fans alike. This happened after she said she would stop using Qantas in protest of the airline’s promotion of same-sex marriage.
“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 were possible for my extensive travelling.” Court wrote against the airlines.
Court, who is now a Cristian Parish, has always advocated against gay rights and gay marriage which are against her beliefs and her religion. Court has long held strong views about homosexuality, which have previously been slammed by Navratilova and fellow great Billie Jean King, who are both gay.
No matter how abrasive her claims might be, she has the rights to voice it. The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull agrees with it.
“Whatever people may think about Margaret Court’s views about gay marriage, and she’s entitled to have them … she is one of the all-time greats and the Margaret Court Arena celebrates Margaret Court the tennis player,” said Mr. Turnbull, who favors marriage equality.
The problem here comes because she is the greatest player of all time. People look up to her and her opinions and thus she has the power to shape the minds and set trends. She has a large number of followers that gives her a lot of power. This incident will not go unnoticed.
Martina Navratilova and current Australian player Casey Dellacqua, who are both openly gay, weighed in on Friday with Navratilova calling for Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to be renamed.
“Maybe it’s time to change of the Margaret Court Arena then,” wrote Navratilova, who won 18 grand slam singles titles, before adding in a later tweet: “Margaret — you have gone too far. Shame on you … #wrongsideofhistory.”
Margaret Court in response said that she will not be intimidated by the bullying, she deserves her name on the stadium and she deserves to have her opinions.
“I think it’s bullying. I think they always said that we were bullying them but I think there’s a lot of bullying gone on, intimidation. I think everybody has their views. I have nothing against gay people and you know we have them in our church and I help them. This is a Judeo-Christian nation and I believe we should protect marriage. I’m not intimidated because I know who I am, I love family and I just stand up for righteousness and truth,” Court said in her defense.
In her capacity she hasn’t broken any law. She has earned the right to have a stadium named after her more than any woman or man who has played professional tennis. If we revoke her titular accolade, we are doing the same thing we are condemning her for.
The way when gay men or women are not thought of as human beings but rather defined by their sexuality as an abomination on the planet. The way they are defined for that one attribute and forgetting all others. We are now doing the same. When Margaret Court is accused and defined for her one belief (albeit how appalling it is) and forgetting what she has done for tennis. She is a legend and undoubtedly an inspiration for all players around the world.
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“They try to bring my past into it, I think it is very sad, I think it’s something I deserved. I loved representing my nation, playing for my nation…I’ve earned those honors and accolades and awards.” Court said.
Court is the most decorated player in grand slam tennis history, winning a record 24 major titles from 1960 to 1973. She has an astounding record of winning 64 Grand Slam titles in total. This is no joke. Frankly it is shame that Court is made to defend why she deserves her name of that stadium.
There might be a whole school of thought that says that by renaming the stadium, it would sent a message. What message is that? If we do not accept your views we will embarrass you and belittle you. This is atrocious.