I would boycott Margaret Court Arena, says Billie Jean…
I would boycott Margaret Court Arena, says Billie Jean…
Billie Jean King calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed after homophobic comments
13 January, 2018, 11:48
King, who is a leading gay rights and equality activist, added that she is disappointed that Court will not be in attendance this year as she would like to have discussed the issue with her face-to-face, and claimed that she has a responsibility to live up to by having her name attributed to such a venue - just like she does at Flushing Meadows in the United States.
King is in Melbourne to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her Australian Open victory.
In 2006, the U.S. Tennis Association named the site of the U.S. Open, located in a public park in NY, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
King said she had a friendship with Court but the arena should no longer be named after her.
The Australian tennis great is also an opponent of gay unions and stated in the past that lesbianism on the women's tour has a corrupting influence on young players, as Breitbart Sports.
Court said people should vote no "for the sake of Australia, our children, and our children's children".
"I think if you were talking about indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can't imagine the public would want someone to have their name on something".
"I was a proponent of hers, trying to get her to the best possible court, ?"
King's attack on Margaret Court is not the first from the tennis world.
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The 74-year-old American, who won 12 major singles titles, she had originally backed Court to be honoured by the naming of the stadium, but the Australian's outspoken views in recent years had changed her mind.
- Open letter re Qantas: 'As you will know, I have represented Australia many times and have the proud record of never losing a tennis match while playing for my country. "That really went deep in my heart and soul and I personally don't think she should have her name (attached to the arena) any more".
King said she lobbied on Court's behalf after Melbourne Park's center court was named for Rod Laver in 2000.
Now, openly gay tennis great King has weighed in on the debate around the renaming of the Arena, saying in a news conference: "I was fine until lately when she said so many derogatory things about my community".
"I wish she here so we could further this discussion".
"I think it's really important if you're going to have your name on anything that you're hospitable, you're inclusive, you're open arms to everyone that comes", she continued.
However, she said comments from her friend previous year blaming the devil for people being transgender "put her over the edge". To honor King, organizers of the event named her the Australian Open's Woman of the Year and kicked off the "Open4All" initiative to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion, according to the AP.
King said it took her until she was 51 to feel comfortable in her own skin and deal with the "shame" of her sexuality. Reverend Court labeled any players who refuse to play in the arena as "petty" and "childish".
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