Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray wants officials to consider renaming Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena over the Australian tennis great’s views on transgender athletes and definition of LGBT rights as “of the devil.”
Murray’s comments join those from WTA founder Billie Jean King to remove Court’s name from one of the main stadiums at the Australian Open’s Melbourne Park venue amid criticism of her beliefs from other senior figures in the sport.
Court is the greatest women’s player of all time, winning 24 Grand Slam singles titles. She was the first woman in the open era to win the singles Grand Slam in 1970, and she is one of only two women to have won a Grand Slam in mixed doubles, which she did twice.
In the past she has stated lesbianism on the women’s tour has a corrupting influence on young players, as Breitbart Sports reported, as well as querying the validity of transgender players.
Now she has drawn the ire of Murray.
“She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years,” said Murray in an interview with Pridelife. “I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing.
“When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court’s views detract from that,” said Murray, who has been men’s singles runner-up five times at the Melbourne Grand Slam tournament.
There are those who are happy to take issue with Murray and defend both Court and her right to hold views even if they are challenged by others in the tennis community.
“He says the multiple grand slam champion’s values are at odds with what tennis stands for.”
Tennis doesn’t “stand for” anything. It is a sport. It is played and followed by people with different views. What Murray means is that he doesn’t like her views. https://t.co/9WHBfxWZoI
— Paul Embery (@PaulEmbery) September 17, 2020
As Breitbart News reported, the 77-year-old Court made the LGBT comments earlier this year 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…”
Modern players have pushed back against court and called for her to be challenged before:
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
Despite the backlash, Court does not resile from her opinions and she doubled-down on her controversial views in January regarding sexuality. She said:
You have got young people taking hormones and having changes, by the time they are 17 they are thinking, ‘Now I’m a boy and really I was a girl’. Because you know what, God made us that way.
Court also highlighted the difficulty of talking about her religious beliefs, claiming “the devil” controlled parts of the the media and government.
“The devil gets in and the media and the political, the education, TV — he wants to control a nation so he can affect people’s minds and mouths,” she said.
“I can go on television and if I say, ‘well, this is what the Bible says’, well, it’s like opening a can of worms. My goodness, you’ve let a torpedo off or something. No it’s true, because they hate the word of God.”