Martina Navratilova slams Margaret Court, calls her a 'racist' and 'homophobe'

By The Sports Xchange   |   June 1, 2017 at 12:53 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

Martina Navratilova penned an open letter on Thursday criticizing Margaret Court's comments about same-sex marriage and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Navratilova also recommended that tennis officials rename the arena that bears the 74-year-old Court's name at Melbourne Park in Australia.

Navratilova's letter addressed to "Dear Margaret Court Arena" was published by Fairfax Media newspapers in Australia. Her words suggested that sporting venues should be named for a person's "whole body of work" and "who they are as human beings."

"When you were named after Margaret Court, it seemed like the right thing to do," Navratilova wrote. "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."

Court, who won 24 Grand Slam singles titles during the 1960s and 1970s, wrote that she would stop flying Qantas "where possible" because the Australian airline "has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage."

Navratilova wrote that "we should not be celebrating this kind of behavior" and recommended that the arena at the Australian Open be given a new name.

"I think the Evonne Goolagong Arena has a great ring to it," Navratilova wrote of the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion. "Now there is a person we can all celebrate. On every level."

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories