Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe take battle against Margaret Court on court

28 Janvier, 2020, 17:10 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • The great John Mc Enroe of tennis unleashes the Grand Slam of the homophobic

According to Tennis Australia, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova violated the protocol by protesting Margaret Court.

The couple then held up a banner that read "Evonne Goolagong Arena".

Navratilova who is openly gay, and has campaigned for gay rights has been a constant critic of Margaret Court for her thoughts on the subject.

"We welcome diversity, inclusion and the right of people to have an opinion, as well as their right to express that opinion", the tournament said. This is to ensure the integrity of the event.

"Two high-profile guests have breached these protocols and we are working through this with them", it added.

Court, who is the most prolific victor of major singles titles with 24, was acknowledged on the 50-year anniversary of her 1970 season grand slam ahead of the fourth-round showdown between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal.

The 18-time grand slam victor believes people of the calibre of Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Billie Jean King, Rod Laver and Rosa Parks are deserving of such an honour.

"Such luminaries excelled in their fields and transcended them; they made a positive contribution to mankind; they led by example".

She was given a special trophy at Rod Laver Arena on Monday night, marking the 50th anniversary of when she won the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open in the same calendar year.

"When Margaret goes out of her way to single out a group of people and tell them they don't deserve equal rights, that they are less than good parents, that they are not godly, that's not merely free speech", she said.

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"Nobody disputes her achievements on the tennis court, and her place in the sport's history remains as distinguished as it gets", Navratilova wrote.

"Nobody wants to take anything from their career or reduce it". Margaret, Billie Jean [King] and Rod [Laver] were my childhood heroes. I wanted to be like them.

The protest has come as part of the pair's attempts to have Margeret Court Arena renamed due to the legend's controversial social and political views.

"It is a hateful and hurtful speech that harms countless vulnerable people".

Navratilova said the flawless solution would be to rename the stadium the Evonne Goolagong Arena, in honor of the woman who won seven Grand Slam titles.

"Her heritage, her success against the odds, her Hall of Fame career and her exemplary life off court, in which she has given so much of herself to so many causes, are all attributes we can celebrate wholeheartedly".

She also once called Navratilova a "great player" but said: "It's very sad for children to be exposed to homosexuality".

McEnroe had used his platform on Eurosport to hit out at Court ahead of the ceremony on Monday.

Court has polarised the tennis community in recent years amid comments regarding the gay and transgender communities, which Navratilova has regularly criticised.

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