Margaret Court is a legendary tennis champion. She has won more majors, 24 including five Roland Garros titles from six finals, than any other player, man or women. Mrs. Court is now an ordained minister and also has some strong personal views. Some of those views, one being she strongly disagrees with same-sex marriage have been highlighted recently.
Mrs. Court said she would be boycotting the Australian national airline QANTAS where possible when the CEO Alan Joyce said the airline supports same-sex marriage. Mrs. Court maintains that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. That is her personal and religious belief. She did not at any stage say she was against homosexuality but just against same-sex marriage.
As would be expected it has caused a major furore. I know Margaret Court and while I do not agree with her at all, I still respect her. I respect the fact that she has the right to an opinion and a view. Should she not be entitled to that whether she is the only one to have a particular view, or if she is one of 10million people with that opinion?
This is not a dictatorship. This is not Stalin’s Russia. It is not North Korea. So the fact that she has been crucified for her views, her personal beliefs, to me seems unjust.
As I said I don’t agree at all with what she has expressed. Everyone should be in a position to live their lives the way they want as long as it doesn’t hurt someone, but at the same time I cannot agree with the vilification she has been put through.
Also, to hear a call from some areas to have Tennis Australia change the name of Margaret Court Arena is ridiculous. I will not criticise the individual players who suggested a boycott because they can do whatever they like; it is their view and to criticise them individually would be doing exactly what they are doing to Court.
They should understand clearly and without emotion, the specific court was not named because of Margaret Court’s religious, personal, political, or whatever beliefs, it was named because of what she achieved on a tennis court and the fact that she represented Australia with incredible distinction as a player on the tennis court.
That is a point missed or ignored by anyone who has called for a name change.