Both Tennis Australia and Margaret Court Arena management have issued statements distancing themselves from a homophobic slur by former tennis champion Margaret Court on Thursday.
The Tennis Australia statement reads, “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”.
— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) May 25, 2017
Unfortunately, Margaret Court decided to rub her antiquated views on marriage equality into everyone’s face yesterday with a letter to the editor of the West Australian newspaper.
In the letter, sent in her current position as Senior Pastor of Victory Life Church in Perth, Court criticised Qantas for being “an active promoter for same-sex marriage”. She ended her rant by saying “I love all people”. Clearly that means all people who agree with her bigoted views.
Management for Margaret Court Arena, named after Court, issued the statement: “Melbourne & Olympic Parks does not support Margaret Court’s comments and we remain an organisation committed to embracing equality, diversity and inclusion; from our fans to our colleagues who deliver the events that people love to attend”.
— Margaret Court Arena (@MCourtArena) May 25, 2017
International rock star Ryan Adams is performing at the venue tonight. He tweeted:
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) May 25, 2017
Noise11.com is calling for a name-change to the arena in the event that the venue is a government owned building in a public area for all Australians, not just those who share Court’s divisive beliefs.
Tennis star Martina Navratilova agrees:
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) May 25, 2017
The Andrews’ Labor government in Australia has done a remarkable job for equality and human rights, making the state of Victoria the most tolerant state in Australia. While there is no denying Court’s achievements as a sportsperson, it is inappropriate in 2017 to have a major sporting and music venue named after a homophobic sports star. The name Margaret Court Arena must change or forever be tarnished by the prejudices or its namesake.