Margaret Court has become a divisive figure at the Australian Open Photo: AFP
tennis

Murray wants Australia to rename Margaret Court Arena over her anti-gay views

16 Comments
By William WEST

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has urged officials to consider renaming Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena over the Australian's anti-gay stance, saying: "I don't think her values are what tennis stands for".

Murray's comments follow calls from WTA founder Billie Jean King to remove Court's name from one of the main stadiums at the Australian Open's Melbourne Park venue and a welter of criticism for her controversial views from other senior figures in the sport.

"She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years," said Murray in an interview with Pridelife.com. "I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing.

"As far as renaming the venue. I think that yes, it's something the sport should consider. I don't know who makes the final decision on that but I don't think her values are what tennis stands for.

"When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court's views detract from that," said Murray, who has been men's singles runner-up five times at the Melbourne Grand Slam tournament.

Court, who won a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, has become a divisive figure in tennis, and especially at the Australian Open.

At the tournament in January, Tennis Australia held a low-key ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of her 1970 calendar-year Grand Slam after noting her views had "demeaned and hurt many in our community".

In retirement, Court, now a devoutly Christian church pastor and based in Perth, Western Australia, has often attracted controversy over her comments on race and homosexuality.

The Australian once praised South Africa's apartheid system, said "tennis is full of lesbians" and described transgender children as "the work of the devil".

"Court was given a ceremony at the Australian Open this year to mark her achievements in the game, but the reception she received from the public was lukewarm," Murray said.

At the same tournament, American greats John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova were reprimanded for unfurling a banner on court calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed after Evonne Goolagong, the three-time Australian Open winner.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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Court, who won a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles

Many of which were at the Australian which most couldn't be bothered to go because it was too far away. Williams, Graf and Navratilova have far surpassed her in all but those 'stats'.

As a compromise, couldn't they call the court 'Goolagong Court'. Court still gets her name there.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

And as a devout Christian, she should never have flaunted herself, playing tennis. She should have just stayed in the kitchen, serving her husband. A female church pastor? What will the traditionalists think?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The court was named after her for her Tennis exploits and being one of the best players of all time. It was not named for her being "Pro-gay". If it was a "gay arena" rather than a "tennis arena" then the point would be valid. (no such thing as a gay arena I know but you get the point).

It is a great shame that she is unable to grasp that gay people have the same rights as everyone else and that they are as much a valued part of society as any other group of people. Some people are stuck in the past and that is a shame.

Covering or ignoring her tennis legacy would be as big a mistake as her views on gay people are. I was always told that two wrongs do not make a right. She is wrong in her views but she is free to have them in a free society. She should not be penalised and nor should a great chapter in Australian tennis history be glossed over just because she does not hold to popular beliefs that all people are gods creations and all peoples are equal.

Leave the arena name alone it will become a teaching point for gay rights as well as a reminder of Australia's great tennis history.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

And as a devout Christian, she should never have flaunted herself, playing tennis. She should have just stayed in the kitchen, serving her husband.

There is nothing in Christianity teachings that says a woman should stay in the kitchen and serve her husband.

You are thinking of some other religion.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I'm a bit over this cancel culture. Margaret Court is entitled to her views just as people are entitled to disagree with her.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

PETER14

There is nothing in Christianity teachings that says a woman should stay in the kitchen and serve her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-24, KJV

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

what bible do you read?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Peter:

For starters:

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

To be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

Guess which religion.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Leave the name, just get an artist to do a rainbow painted foyer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If I remember correctly from many years ago when I read it, the Bible says some really nasty things about gays. So if she is a fervent Christian and believes that the Bible says is God's word, unless people strongly condemn the Bible and demand its rewording, we should not condemn her.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Peter14

Here is the Biblical support for the figurative ‘stay in the kitchen.’ There’s also a phrase that women cannot speak in church, which, I believe, a pastor must do. There are more.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent...

1 Corinthians 11:3-16 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man...

Titus 2: 4-5

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Margaret Court is entitled to her views just as people are entitled to disagree with her.

I completely agree. People are also entitled to judge others on these views.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ephesians 5:22-24, KJV

Written by men for men.

Written by men who also believed the world was flat, so they were not enlightened.

The is no Christian church today that would use that in a sermon as we all know that women are equal to men. Not just because the law says so. If they tried people would just walk out and not return.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The is no Christian church today that would use that in a sermon as we all know that women are equal to men.

So does the bible have no place in Christianity then? Or should we only read the good bits?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The is no Christian church today that would use that in a sermon as we all know that women are equal to men. Not just because the law says so. If they tried people would just walk out and not return.

So it was a business decision?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Religion tends to keep some people in the Middle Ages.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The bible was written by unenlightened men, not by God or Jesus.

Clearly there are many parts that have no bearing on modern day living like men being in charge of women, of gay people being somehow blasphemous. Of women being prohibited from being ordained. From not using condoms to prevent pregnancy. That is to be expected as advances in science and society provide updates and corrections to the incorrect statements in the various versions of the bible. It is more of a guide than a set of rules. And it has many many flaws in it that are evident. For some it is purely a work of fiction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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