Australian tennis champion Margaret Court, has addressed the criticism she received from US Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Court, a staunch Christian, is a vocal opponent of LGBTI rights.
Tennis fan Wintour is attending the Australian Open.
Yesterday, she gave a speech as part of the tournament’s Inspirational Series brunch. Wintour’s speech included criticism of both the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and Margaret Court, over their approach to LGBTI inclusion.
Court, with 24 Grand Slam titles to her name, has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage. She has a prominent 7,500-capacity tennis court named after her in Melbourne.
Today, talking to The West Australian, Court said: ‘The saddest thing is someone coming from America and telling us in this nation what to do.
‘I’ve loved my nation, played for my nation. There’s probably no one who has been more supportive of, or spoke more highly of, the game of tennis.’
What did Anna Wintour say?
At her Australian Open address, Wintour said yesterday: ‘Like many of you I have been alarmed by your Prime Minister’s record on LGBTQ rights.’
She said his record, ‘seems backward in all senses.’
Rights groups have denounced Morrison over comments against LGBTI Australians. In particular, he has failed to protect LGBTI youth from discrimination at religious schools.
‘No one [should] be expelled from school for their orientation’, Wintour said.
‘A government should protect its people and not make it unclear whether they will be accepted’.
Margaret Court Arena
Wintour also called on Melbourne to rename Margaret Court Arena.
Australian tennis player Court, who amassed a total of 64 major titles over the course of her career and became the second woman to complete the Grand Slam in 1970, is a notorious homophobe.
She is now a Christian pastor. In 2017, she described homosexuality as ‘all the devil’. She also said trans kids were the work of Hitler.
Recently, many people have asked to remove her name from Melbourne’s stadium.
‘Intolerance has no place in tennis,’ Wintour said.
She continued: ‘I find that it is inconsistent with the sport for Margaret Court’s name to be on a stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences’.
‘Margaret Court was a champion on the court but a meeting point for players of all nations, preferences and backgrounds should celebrate somebody that was a champion off the court as well’.