Twitter lost its collective mind when two brides holding bouquets just casually showed up at an Australian Open match.
The tennis tournament takes place in Australia during the last fortnight of January every year.
While Danielle Collins was playing Caroline Garcia at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on 18 January, two brides sat side by side. The episode caused quite a stir, with the crowd wondering what it was really about.
Two women in wedding dresses sitting together in Margaret Court Arena, which bears the name of one of the loudest and most vitriolic voices on the losing side of Australia's gay marriage debate. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/i7oPQy9MAe
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 18, 2019
‘Two women in wedding dresses sitting together in Margaret Court Arena, which bears the name of one of the loudest and most vitriolic voices on the losing side of Australia’s gay marriage debate,’ tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg tweeted.
— Asmita (@asmitaghosh18) January 18, 2019
‘This is iconic! Margaret Court has been vocally homophobic and anti-gay marriage. Two women in wedding dresses in this stadium is such a clapback!’ another tweeted.
Who is Margaret Court?
The arena bears the name of Margaret Court, a player who came under fire for her views on marriage equality.
When Australia was on its way to grant same-sex couples the right to legally marry in 2017, Court actively campaigned against the vote.
She claimed that a gay lobby was trying to get into the minds of children, and also that transgender identity was ‘the work of the devil’.
Her comments triggered a fierce backlash from a number of leading figures in the game, such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. King also called for the arena to be renamed.
The brides were promoting a reality show
Despite the understandable LGBTI excitement, however, the two brides seem to be part of a publicity stunt.
Channel 9’s reality show Married At First Sight, in fact, claimed responsibility for the incident. MAFS follows four – straight – Australian couples who get to know each other on their wedding day.
A Channel 9 spokesman released a statement to confirm the channel wasn’t trying to make a political statement.
‘To promote the upcoming series of Married at First Sight we had two promotional models dressed as brides at tonight’s Australian Open, who were moved to various parts of the Melbourne Park precinct,’ a Channel 9 spokesman said in a statement.
‘Their seating at Margaret Court Arena was in no way meant to be interpreted as a political statement.’