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Tennis Arena Name Controversy Erupts in Australia over Margaret Court Comments

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weekendnotes.com

With Martina Navratilova joining calls for the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to be renamed after the Australian tennis great said she would boycott Qantas due to the airline’s stance on same-sex marriage, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull contradicted proposals to rename the arena.

“Whatever people may think about Margaret Court’s views about gay marriage …she is one of the all-time greats and the Margaret Court Arena celebrates Margaret Court the tennis player,” Turnbull said in a radio interview.

Margaret Court Arena, part of the Melbourne Parks complex, lobbed into the fray on Friday saying it remains committed to “equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Margaret Court, the 74 year-old founder of Victory Life Church in Perth, announced in the West Australian that she would stop using Qantas “where possible” in protest at the airline’s promotion of same-sex marriage.

“Their statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines [where] possible for my extensive travelling,” she said.

Marriage equality activists say it is now up to Court whether she is happy for her name to remain on a building which has stated it supports same-sex equality. Australian player Casey Dellacqua tweeted how fed up she was with Court after her family was targeted for criticism by the tennis great.

“Margaret. Enough is enough,” Dellacqua tweeted on Friday, posting a photo of a letter from Court published in the West Australian in 2013.

In a letter, Margeret Court laments the birth of Dellacqua’s child in a same-sex relationship. “It is with sadness that I see that this baby has seemingly been deprived of a father,” Court wrote.

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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