Different time, different mood

According to ESPN, there’s more controversy brewing over Margaret Court and her outspoken opinions about same-sex marriage. If you recall, Court is on record as being opposed to gay marriage but says she loves gay people, she just doesn’t believe in gay marriage. This caused quite a stir in the tennis community as you might imagine. Billie Jean King has joined calls for Margaret Court’s name to be removed from the arena named after her at Melbourne Park. King had previously said she was fine with Court’s name adorning the stadium at Melbourne but that Court’s ongoing derogatory comments such as blaming the devil for people being transgender had put her over the edge. Court, now a pastor at Victory Life Church in Perth has expressed her concerns that Australian player Casey Dellacqua’s newborn child would be deprived of his father. Apparently, she’s chosen to be vocal regardless of the turmoil it causes in her life and this is simply the next, in what one would think will be a long saga in her life.

The latest controversy surrounds Court’s call to Tennis Australia to celebrate her grand slam 50th anniversary. She wants the same recognition afforded to Rod Laver’s 1969 grand slam anniversary at the Australian Open earlier this year and she claims she won’t return to Melbourne Park unless she is formerly welcomed back. Court, the all-time record holder with 24 grand slam singles titles to her credit, a record Serena Williams is on the verge of breaking, said she has not attended the AO since 2017, the year she was heavily criticized for voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage. She wants Tennis Australia to formally invite her and to pay for her trip to Melbourne just as they paid for Rod Laver’s trip.

Thoughts anyone? Can her opinions and her tennis be separate from one another?

Written by Tim Strawn

Executive Director, IART


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