Billie Jean King wants Australian Open to take anti-gay Margaret Court’s name off of arena
Margaret Court won the Australian Open singles title a record 11 times during her career.
But the Hall of Fame career of the tennis legend, who also won three Wimbledon crowns and five times each at the French Open and the US Open, has seen her tennis accomplishments overshadowed in recent year by her anti-gay bigotry.
Meanwhile, Court’s great on-court rival Billie Jean King, who is openly gay, is being increasingly celebrated for her accomplishments both on and off the court including The Battle of the Sexes feature film released earlier this year.
King spoke out earlier today with her strongest statements yet against Court who unsuccessfully fought against same-sex marriage becoming legal in Australia and had also once claimed tennis was “full of lesbians” and that transgender children were the result of a Nazi-style “plot” to brainwash the minds of young people.
King wants organizers of the Australian Open, which begins on Monday, to change the name of Margaret Court Arena telling reporters: “I think it’s its really important, if you’re going to have your name on anything, that you’re hospitable, inclusive, you’re opening arms to everyone that comes to a public facility. … I was fine until lately she said so many derogatory things about my community. I’m a gay woman; about the LGBTIQ community. That really went deep in my heart and soul. I don’t think she should have her name (on it) any more.”
Court had previously announced she will not attend this month’s tournament.
Some have suggested the arena be renamed to honor former number one and four-time Australian Open singles champion Evonne Goolagong. The Aussie great also won Wimbledon twice as well as a title at the French Open.