Tennis Legend’s Anti-Gay Remarks Spark Protest at Australian Open
Gay rights supporters will show their true colors at the Australian Open by wearing rainbow colored clothing and waving gay flags at the Australian Open in response to tennis legend Margaret Court’s anti-gay comments about same-sex marriage, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported in a Jan. 24 article.
One of those supporters is a 17-year-old British tennis player, Laura Robson, who wore a rainbow colored ribbon in her hair during a match she played last week. The teen told the media that she was aware of Court’s comments and said that she wore the rainbow ribbon "because I believe in equal rights for everyone."
Court, 70, was a former World No. 1 Australian tennis player and in 1970 became the first woman during the open era and the second woman in history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the singles division in the same calendar year.
The Herald Sun noted that Court was shocked about the backlash resulting from her anti-gay remarks and says she feels victimized. She also said that she did not mean to attack the LGBT community but wanted to "plea for the nation to retain its morals." The tennis champ went on to say that she would not change her beliefs and still plans to attend the Australian Open this week.
"To target me and the tennis is a political stunt," Court said. "I love them, I even work with them ... but what concerns me so much is the amount of hatred that has been directed at me. There have been some awful things."
"But I love my nation and I don’t like seeing it in moral decline. I pray for it, I love it and I want to protect the young of the future. My heart is for the next generation."
Court also added that the LGBT community could live their life "without touching marriage as ordained by God."
Open lesbian and former World No. 1 tennis player Martina Navratilova commented on Court’s remarks and said that her "view were outdated. It’s not about any one person." Navratilova added, "It’s not about religious rights, it’s about human rights. She’s only seeing it from one viewpoint."
"Margaret has expressed a personal view," Australian Open Director Craig Tiley said last week. "(We) do not share that view and believe everyone should be treated equally and fairly."