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Growing Calls for Margaret Court Arena Name Change

Sean Russell

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Margaret Court is under on-going criticism after saying she would boycott Qantas due to Chief Executive Alan Joyce’s stand on same sex marriage.

Calls for Margaret Court Arena to have its named changed have increased over the past couple of days, with tennis legend Martina Naratilova calling for the name change.

Naratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam single titles during her career, tweeted: “Margaret, you have gone too far. Shame on you.” She also said, “I guess Margaret will be taking the boat on her next trip?:)”

In a letter sent to The West Australian on Thursday, Ms Court stated that she would no longer be flying Qantas “where possible” as a protest of the airline’s promotion of same sex marriage.

She added, “I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same sex marriage. I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.”

Naratilova was supported by fellow tennis great Billie Jean King, who is also gay, after both had been critical of Mrs Court’s views on homosexuality in the past.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull avoided the question when asked about it at Melbourne Park.

“Whatever people think of her opinion on gay marriage, she is one of the all time greats and the arena celebrates that,” Prime Minister Turnbull told 3AW.

Openly gay tennis player Casey Dellacqua was much more direct.

She tweeted an image of Court’s letter to the West Australian from 2013. In the letter, Mrs Court speaks of her sadness due to Ms Dellacqua’s child with her partner, as the child would not have a father.

Ms Dellacqua simply tweeted the image with the caption, “Margaret, enough is enough.”

Court is the most successful tennis player in Grand Slam history, after racking up a record 24 Grand Slam titles from 1960 to 1973. The Arena, which was originally called the Show Court One when it was opened back in 1988, was renamed as a tribute to Mrs Court in 2003.

Tennis Australia, and even the official Margaret Court twitter account, have both commented on Mrs Court’s controversial views.

In the Margaret Court Arena’s tweet they state, “Melbourne & Olympic Park does not support Margaret Court’s comments and we remain an organisation committed to embracing equality, diversity and inclusion; from our fans to our colleagues who delivers the events that people love to attend.”

It remains to be seen if a name change will occur.

 

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Growing Calls for Margaret Court Arena Name Change