American tennis legend Billie Jean King has called for the Margaret Court Arena’s name to be changed due to Court’s divisive views on sexuality.
King, who’s been named Australian Open Woman of the Year, is in Melbourne to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her Australian Open victory.
King said she had a friendship with Court but the arena should no longer be named after her.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate … she’s gotten derogatory,” King said, adding that she would not play on the court if she was still in action.
Court has aired a number of punchy views on same-sex marriage, which became legal in Australia in December. Now a pastor based in Perth, she has previously said tennis is full of lesbians and that the devil is responsible for transgender children. In her most recent salvo she claimed Australia will pay for the outcome of the recent referendum.
There’s also been rumours about players boycotting the court that bears her name. And Court has said that the players decisions do not in any way bother her.
“I think that is petty if they do that and it says what’s in their heart. That’s very childish – but that’s not up to me and it doesn’t affect me,” the women’s great said.
King, however, has said she looks forward to talking with Court on her recent statements.
“I would love to talk to Margaret, and I think probably now I need to talk to her about what she’s saying. But she’s a Pentecostal minister with her own congregation so I don’t think it will help much or that she will change or adapt in any way.”