Tennis great and long-time gay rights activist Martina Navratilova has attacked Margaret Court’s views on transgender athletes, saying the sport shouldn’t feel the need to publicly recognise the Australian’s achievements in view of her beliefs.
As Breitbart News reported, Court branded the teaching of LGBT rights as “of the devil” on Sunday, saying a man and a woman are different entities and cannot be interchanged on a whim because “God made us that way.”
The 77-year-old, who won a record 24 Grand Slam tennis singles titles, made the comments while giving a sermon at her Victory Life Church in the Australian city of Perth.
Addressing the issue of trans athletes competing in male or female sports, the Christian pastor said: “You know with that LGBT, they’ll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women’s sports, they’re going to have so many problems.”
She also claimed children as young as seven were beginning to change gender, adding: “It’s so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm and they start to question, ‘what am I?’
“You know, even that LGBT in the schools, it’s of the devil, it’s not of God…”
Those comments drew a swift response from Navratilova: “It’s outrageous and so wrong,” she wrote on Twitter.
It’s outrageous and so wrong. We don’t need to change or re- write history when it comes to anyone’s accomplishments but we do not need to celebrate them. Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 31, 2019
“We don’t need to change or re-write history when it comes to anyone’s accomplishments but we do not need to celebrate them. Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it.”
This is not the first time the two tennis greats have clashed.
In 2017 Navratilova wrote an open letter urging the city of Melbourne to change the name of its Court Arena, named in honor of the Australian champion, as Breitbart New reported.
“When you were named after Margaret Court, it seemed like the right thing to do,” Navratilova wrote in her open letter to Court Arena.
“After all, Rod Laver already had the big stadium, and Court is one of the all-time greats. I had long ago forgiven Court for her headline-grabbing comments in 1990 when she said I was a bad role model because I was a lesbian.”
“It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and … a homophobe. Her vitriol is not just an opinion. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights (note to Court: we are human beings, too). She is demonizing trans kids and trans adults everywhere,” Navratilova added.
“We should not be celebrating this kind of behavior,” the former number one ranked player insisted.