Rainbows Down Under!!!
The Australian Open began yesterday. It’s always exciting for tennis fans, as it is the first major tournament of the new year. This year, there has been a little controversy too. Margaret Court, one of the legends of tennis, and undeniably the best Australian female tennis player ever (so much so, that they named their stadium after her), recently showed her Evangelical Christian colors in an interview, making statements that seemed more fitting for 1973:
Court accused gay people of indulging in “abominable sexual practices” and described same-sex marriages, promoted by legislation introduced by the current Labor government in Australia, as “unhealthy, unnatural unions”.
She told the Australian newspaper: “I’ve nothing against homosexual people. I help them to overcome. We have people [at the Victory Life Centre] who have been homosexual who are now married.”
In an interview last month with the West Australian, Court said: “Politically correct education has masterfully escorted homosexuality out from behind closed doors, into the community openly and now is aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take. The fact that the homosexual cry is, ‘We can’t help it, as we were born this way’, as the cause behind their own personal choice is cause for concern.”
17 year old player Laura Robson decided to wear a rainbow colored scrunchy to show that she disagreed, when she took the court today on Margaret Court Arena. She lost the match, and somewhat walked back her stance saying that it was not a form of protest just an expression of equality, but still it was a brave thing for a youngster to do in the face of a tennis legend who happens to also be a bigot. It’s especially sad to see someone like Court show such intolerance given that she is part of the history for a sport that has probably done more for gender-equality, and has had the more openly gay champions than any other sports. While men’s sports has yet to see ANY high profile players come out of the closet, tennis has two openly gay legends, in Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. Speaking of which, both King and Navratilova were not afraid to strongly disagree with Court:
Navratilova, who has been open about her sexuality for many years, was appalled when told of Court’s views.
“A lot of people have evolved,” she told the tennis website tennischannel.com, “as has the Bible. Unfortunately, Margaret Court has not … Her myopic view is truly frightening as well as damaging to the thousands of children already living in same-gender families.”
It’s nice to see two of the pioneers for equality in sports, still showing the same unapologetic fight that made them not only champions but role-models, both on and off the court. —Uncle Eb/John