Margaret Court is set to receive Australia’s top honor and it is sparking outrage in the tennis community
Margaret Court, the tennis legend with 24 singles and 40 doubles Grand Slam titles, is set to receive Australia’s top honor. That honor is sparking a lot of criticism. It was announced on Friday that court would be a recipient of the award representing “the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large.” Court is already an Officer of the order and is scheduled to become a Companion of the Order of Australia on Tuesday, which is Australia Day.
But some believe that Court, 78, should not be given the honor because of her history of homophobic comments. In 2017, she said that tennis is full of lesbians and that transgender children are the work of the devil.
Victoria state leader Daniel Andrews called her out on Thursday. Though he did not address her by name, it was obvious who the tweet was about.
The Premier of Court’s home state of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, also commented that she should not get the award, saying it “should go to unsung heroes across the country and there’s a great many of them,” according to the BBC.
Court responded to Andrews’ comment with a simple, “Well, I’ll call him blessed,” the New York Times reported.
Throughout the years she has been outspoken against companies that support of same-sex marriage. When Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua, who is in a same-sex relationship, had a child, Court said, “It is with sadness that I see that this baby has seemingly been deprived of a father.”
Other tennis legends, including Billie Jean King, who is gay, have called her out on such comments.