Australian Open: Billie Jean King calls for 'homophobe' stadium to be renamed

King- cropped

WTA pioneer Billie Jean King

It said, simply, 'Yes!', emblazoned on a background of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple tennis balls: a symbol of the tennis community's support for equal marriage in Australia, which became legal earlier this week.

King originally lobbied for Court's name to be attached to the the arena when the stadium was renamed in 2003. When she talked about children of transgenders being from the devil, that put me over the edge. "There's no way we should be revisiting that simply because she has been participating in a national debate", Mr Cook said.

Court also criticised Australian player Casey Dellacqua for having two children with her female partner, and her comments led to a threat of a boycott at the third show court in Melbourne that was named after the 24-grand slam victor in 2003.

She spoke out against Australian airline Qantas due to its support for gay marriage and said she would avoid using it where possible.

Does her language matter?

Australian tennis legend Margaret Court (left) watching the men's singles match of the Hopman Cup final between Switzerland and Germany at the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, on January 6.

Which Side Are They on? Kim and Khloe Kardashian Blast Brother Rob for Revenge Fight With Blac Chyna
The 37-year-old mother of North and Saint West then says that Rob "should have just like controlled himself". She also defended Rob saying Chyna was taunting him which caused him to react.

"Margaret's views are her views ..."

King cited a radio interview Court, 75, gave last May, in which she said it was satanic when children questioned their gender identity.

- Slammed Australian doubles player Casey Dellacqua after her partner, Amanda Judd, had given birth to a son, claiming the child's birth hinted at the threat of a "fatherless generation". "It is with sadness that I see that this baby has seemingly been deprived of a father", Court wrote.

"What I felt out there was a lot worse compared to how actually it was", she said.

Her comments before Australia voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage were heavily criticised past year, with 18-time Grand Slam singles victor Martina Navratilova writing an open letter condemning the remarks and urging officials to rename the arena at Melbourne Park.

But when King was asked about Court's name on the arena, she said: "I know it's not as easy as people think, but I personally don't think she should have her name anymore".

Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to "Hold"
Out of 23 Wall Street analysts rating Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold, 5 give it "Buy", 5 "Sell" rating, while 13 recommend "Hold". The investment managers in our partner's database now hold: 961.13 million shares, down from 962.50 million shares in 2017Q2.

After being criticized by former and active tennis players for that stance, Court hit back by saying tennis was "full of lesbians".

Navratilova, who is also gay, has previously called Court a "racist and a homophobe". However, she's entitled to her own opinion.

And what a contrast with tennis's two great lesbian role models - Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova - who both said on Friday that, were they still hitting balls professionally, they would have boycotted any stadium that carried Court's name.

Konta goes into the Australian Open as the ninth seed and reported a clean bill of health after the hip injury that forced her to retire in Brisbane last week.

King said she would welcome Court's attendance.

It all highlights an impossible burden sports organisations face.

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) Receives Buy Rating from Jefferies Group
Rio Tinto plc, a mining and metals company, finds, mines, processes, and markets mineral resources. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board stated it has 42,817 shares or 0.24% of all its holdings.

But that view has changed in light of Court's comments. Yet if it is indeed renamed, it will not be long before similar campaigns begin against statues or grounds named after other sports personnel with views unacceptable today.

Latest News