Billie Jean King says it's time to rename Margaret Court Arena

Billie Jean King says it's time to rename Margaret Court Arena

Tennis hall of famer and WTA founding member Billie Jean King says Margaret Court Arena should be renamed because of Australian tennis great's views on homosexuality.

King is in Melbourne to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her Australian Open victory.

She has a tennis centre named after her in New York City and said the honour came with great responsibility.

The tennis champion admits that she was one of the proponents of the push to have part of the Rod Laver Arena named after Court in recognition of her tennis achievements, but says Court's comments about gender and sexuality have gone too far.

Court said people should vote no "for the sake of Australia, our children, and our children's children".

"If I were playing today, I would not play in this court".

"I think if you were talking about indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can't imagine the public would want somebody [with those views] to have their name on something", she said. "But she's a Pentecostal minister with her own congregation so I don't think it will help much or that she will change or adapt in any way".

The 74-year-old American, who won 12 major singles titles, she had originally backed Court to be honoured by the naming of the stadium, but the Australian's outspoken views in recent years had changed her mind.

More news: USA settles near 3-year highs despite United States inventory rise
More news: Heat a factor in del Potro's NZ final loss
More news: European Commission wants €1 billion investment in European supercomputers

King drew a contrast between herself and Martina Navratilova, who has been calling for the name to be changed since a year ago, saying she had needed to be "very reflective before I come out and say anything".

'That really went deep in my heart and soul. On the eve of the Australian Open, King has called for the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to be renamed because of the Australian's controversial and divisive views on gay marriage.

Last year, fellow tennis star Martina Navratilova wrote an open letter in Fairfax Media calling for the arena to be renamed to remove all traces of the Australian champion.

"I was fine until lately when she said so many derogatory things about my community; I'm a gay woman", King added. It's a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world, to get the minds of the children'.

"I wish Margaret was here this year", she said. I had long ago forgiven Court for her headline-grabbing comments in 1990 when she said I was a bad role model because I was a lesbian.

'But we're all God's children, so I probably don't think it's appropriate to have her name'.

"It's really important if you're going to have your name on anything that you're hospitable, you're inclusive, you open your arms to everyone that comes", King said. To honor King, organizers of the event named her the Australian Open's Woman of the Year and kicked off the "Open4All" initiative to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion, according to the AP. Whether any of the hundreds of players who might be assigned matches there would refuse to compete is yet unknown.

Related Articles

  • Suspect on run after shooting Knoxville police officer at shopping center

    Suspect on run after shooting Knoxville police officer at shopping center

    Knoxville police said Lucas used a shot gun and fired multiple times. "Call law enforcement and let us know where he is". Wilson said he is thankful that the deputy is okay, and he wants his son to turn himself in so no one else gets hurt.
    The Hill: Trump refuses to commit to Mueller interview

    The Hill: Trump refuses to commit to Mueller interview

    Prosecutors have indicated they will likely seek an interview with Trump, the Washington Post reported . Strzok was removed from Mueller's team after the special counsel learned about the messages last summer.
    Scientists discover rare 200 million-year-old butterfly fossils

    Scientists discover rare 200 million-year-old butterfly fossils

    This replaced the chewing mouthparts of their ancestors - a transition that was probably triggered by climate rather than food. Mr. van Eldijk was tasked with fishing out more, and for that job he was given a dissection probe with a single nostril hair.
  • Boat with 40 school children on board capsizes in sea, 4 dead

    Boat with 40 school children on board capsizes in sea, 4 dead

    Rescue operations are now underway, and Coast Guard ships and helicopters have been diverted to the point of incident. The boat was capsized due to overcrowding and the boat tilted on one side while the children were having fun.
    Kohl's Corporation (KSS) Stake Lowered by Boston Private Wealth LLC

    Kohl's Corporation (KSS) Stake Lowered by Boston Private Wealth LLC

    A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. With 279,200 avg volume, 3 days are for Ltc Properties Incorporated (NYSE:LTC)'s short sellers to cover LTC's short positions.
    United States  hospitals going through IV bag scarcity

    United States hospitals going through IV bag scarcity

    He said since September, the state's career services agencies have helped more than 7,600 Puerto Ricans find jobs. Hospitals say they've had to stretch their supply of IV bags while making sure patients still get their medicine.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Friday Fact or Fiction for Divisional Weekend

    Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Friday Fact or Fiction for Divisional Weekend

    We'll see if it pays off for him this weekend. "A lot of outside factors that could have been divisive for our group", Haley said. To combat the fearsome Jacksonville pass defense, the Steelers will need to lean on first team All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell.
    The Bentley Bentayga Gets a Twin-Turbocharged V-8 Option

    The Bentley Bentayga Gets a Twin-Turbocharged V-8 Option

    Passengers in the back can utilize the crossover's 10-inch removable Android tablets with 4G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi capabilities. USA pricing hasn't been announced yet, but in the United Kingdom the Bentayga V8 will have a starting price of about $186,000.
    Serena Williams reveals health scare after birth of daughter Olympia

    Serena Williams reveals health scare after birth of daughter Olympia

    Little Alexis was fine after her September birth, but Williams said that "everything went bad" for her personally. For someone as courageous and strong as Williams, she's admitted to feeling doubt when it comes to motherhood.
  • KFC is accepting Bitcoin for fried chicken in this country

    KFC is accepting Bitcoin for fried chicken in this country

    In recent months the bitcoin network has become almost unusable for day-to-day commerce and small transactions. According to the data from CoinMarketCap , now Bitcoin price makes up $13637.

    Murkowski: Trump comments "don't reflect who we are as a country"

    Vice President Joe Biden too felt compelled to challenge President Trump for his racist rhetoric saying 'We're better than this'. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the vulgar language was "very unfortunate, unhelpful".
    At least 54 deaths, 15500 cases so far this season

    At least 54 deaths, 15500 cases so far this season

    The other 20 percent of cases have been a serious strain of the flu that's predominant across the nation, Berg said. Because the flu is so bad this season, Chen says health professionals are doing things a bit differently this year.