British tennis ace Andy Murray has joined the chorus of critics calling on Australian Open officials to remove Margaret Court’s name from the arena at Melbourne Park over her rigid stance on same sex marriage.
The three-time Grand Slam champion said that Court’s personal values go against what global sport stands for.
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Murray supported the idea of renaming one of the main stadiums at the Australian Open’s Melbourne Park stressing that Court “has offended a lot of people over the years.”
“When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court’s views detract from that,” the player said.
“She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years. I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing,” he added outlining that Australian Open bosses should consider renaming the stadium.
“As far as renaming the venue. I think that yes, it’s something the sport should consider. I don’t know who makes the final decision on that but I don’t think her values are what tennis stands for,” Murray said.
The 78-year-old Court is a 24-time Grand Slam winner. She has often been embroiled in controversies after openly voicing criticism of homosexual and transgender athletes.
A devoutly Christian church pastor, she has also been lambasted by many sport stars, including Martina Navratilova for her religiously based beliefs.
Court has said that “tennis is full of lesbians” and that transgender children were the work of “the devil” triggering massive criticism from many sports figures.
Last winter Tennis Australia held a specially arranged ceremony in acknowledgement of Court’s tennis achievements marking the 50th anniversary of her 1970 Grand Slam triumph.
The ceremony didn’t go without controversy after sport’s legends, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, unveiled a banner calling for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed in honour of another Australian great, Evonne Goolagong.