MELBOURNE. — Twelve-times Grand Slam champion Billie Jean King said yesterday that Margaret Court’s name should be stripped from the Australian Open tennis showcourt due to her divisive views on sexuality. American King’s comments follow a report in the New York Times on Thursday in which Martina Navratilova said she would refuse to play on Margaret Court Arena if still competing. A contemporary of King, 75-year-old Court is a Christian pastor and has campaigned against same-sex marriage, which recently became legal in Australia after a plebiscite last year.
The Australian also caused a furore last year by telling a Christian radio station that transgender children were corrupted by “the devil” and that tennis was “full of lesbians”.
“I personally don’t think she should have her name (on it) any more,” King (74) told reporters at Melbourne Park.
“I was fine until lately she said so many derogatory things . . . That really went deep in my heart and soul.” — Reuters.