Margaret Court's Australian Open boycott: Why all the controversy?

Share

Court had been derogatory about LGBT people before but stepped up her campaign previous year, before the public vote on whether to legalise gay marriage in Australia, including writing a letter to The Western Australian newspaper stating her intention "to use other airlines where possible", after the chief executive of Qantas signalled the company's support for same-sex marriage, and giving a series of radio interviews denouncing LGBT people.

Though she received her annual invitation, Court will not attend this year's tournament, saying she would watch it on television while vacationing.

"I was really for her to have it", King said.

"I personally don't think she should have (her name on the stadium) anymore". The Australian's name graces an arena in Melbourne Park because of her illustrious tennis accomplishments; she was the first woman in the Open era to win a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Court also criticised Australian player Casey Dellacqua for having two children with her female partner, and her comments led to a threat of a boycott at the third show court in Melbourne that was named after the 24-grand slam victor in 2003. "It's a public facility".

"That really went deep in my heart and soul".

"I was fine until lately when she said so many derogatory things about my community; I'm a gay woman", King added.

"I think that's very childish, but that's not up to me and it doesn't affect me".

King said she had once supported Court's name adorning one of the stadiums, after Rod Laver was honoured with an arena. Maybe because of our community, the LGBTIQ community, people might feel differently.

King said a series of comments made by Court about the LGBTI community were simply unacceptable.

Jordan Spieth six off the lead after late quadruple-bogey — Sony Open
By then, two-time major victor Johnson was in the clubhouse after a 67 that included three birdies and an eagle at the ninth. His next wouldn't come until the par-5 ninth, where he two-putted from 33 feet to turn in four-under 31.

"That's what Hitler did and that's what communism did, got the minds of the children".

In May, she remarked "tennis is full of lesbians", claimed transgender children were the result of parents who "don't care" and related non-heterosexual thinking as the work of Nazis, communists and the Devil.

Court said people should vote no "for the sake of Australia, our children, and our children's children".

"Every time I see my name up there I can hardly breathe because of the responsibility that goes with it."
I was looking forward to seeing her.

The players have been placed in a hard position and Konta was one of the few willing to really engage with the subject at her pre-tournament press conference.

"No, our position hasn't changed", Tiley said. "It's not because of her beliefs, it's because of her achievements in the sport". We're inclusive, diverse, equal, and all the things Billie Jean said.

King is one of a long list of people who have called for the arena's name to be changed.

Sam Stosur, Australia's No 1-ranked woman, floated the possibility of players boycotting the Margaret Court Arena in protest.

"That's why the court was originally named after her, because of her tennis, what she was good at".

The 2018 Australian tennis open on Monday, January 15.

Share