“Court”ing Controversy at the Australian Open

69-year-old tennis legend Margaret Court, who won 62 major titles in her career, is known more today as a Pentecostal minister that opposes same-sex marriage.

Recently, just before this year’s Australian Open, Court told the “Melbourne Herald Sun”,  “Let me be clear. I believe that a person’s sexuality is a choice. In the Bible it said that homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh.  It is not something you are born with. My concern is that we are advocating to young people that it is OK to have these feelings.”

Groups organized on Facebook to protest at the Australian Open by wearing rainbow clothing and flying rainbow flags.

After Court’s comments, tennis pro and LGBT rights activist Martina Navratilova called Court’s view “outdated” adding, “It is not about any one person.  It’s about human rights. It is a secular view, not a religious view.  I have spoken to her years ago but she was all about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. She repeated that four or five times so I just felt I couldn’t get through to her.”

Another gay tennis legend, Billie Jean King responded, “I respectfully disagree with Margaret’s position on gay marriage.  We have to commit to eliminating homophobia because everyone is entitled to the same rights, opportunities and protection.”

While I fully disagree with Court, I’m glad she stands by her views and I hope one day she can open her mind for equality.  In 2001, she was quoted as saying, “Jesus Christ loves the homosexual, but he hates the sin, and we love the homosexual and we’re there to help them to overcome it.”

Court also says, “The fact that the homosexual cry is, `We can’t help it, as we were born this way,’ as the cause behind their own personal choice is cause for concern.”

While I know there are many that support Court’s belief, others are standing strong against her.

Kerryn Phelps, former president of the Australian Medical Association and one of Australia’s most influential gay spokeswomen, wants the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia to drop Court’s name from the 6,000-seat show court arena named in her honor.

And, while respecting Court’s tennis record as “second to none”,  Tennis Australia released this statement:   “her personal views are her own, and are definitely not shared by Tennis Australia.”

Other than fans that protested, 17-year-old British player, Laura Robson, wore a rainbow-colored scrunchie in her first round loss and stated:  “Obviously I’m going to be asked about it and I was expecting that and I’ve given my answer. I believe in equal rights for everyone, so that’s why I wore it.”

Court’s final words on the controversy:  “To target me and the tennis is a political stunt.  I love (gays), I even work with them… but what concerns me so much is the amount of hatred that has been directed at me.”

My final thoughts:  You old wind bag, feel free to speak your mind, but if you get on the “court” and make a lob, expect a return volley.

And, this picture has nothing to do with the story.  It’s just the men’s champion, Novak Djokovic’s reaction to winning!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by katie hughes harden on January 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    She’s concerned about the hate that’s directed at HER? Really? Maybe she should be more concerened with the hate directed at the poeple she’s trying to change or should i say condemn…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: