Twenty-four-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Margaret Court continued to express her views on homosexuality in women’s tennis during an interview Wednesday.
According to the Guardian, Court appeared on Vision Christian Radio and said the following: “Tennis is full of lesbians. Even when I was playing there were only a couple there, but those couple that led took young ones into parties. And what you get at the top is often what you’ll get right through that sport. … We’re there to help them overcome. We’re not against the people.”
Court has long opposed same-sex relationships, and explained her rationale to the West Australian newspaper (h/t Kate Fagan of ESPNW) in 2011:
“No amount of legislation or political point-scoring can ever take out of the human heart the knowledge that in the beginning God created them male and female and provided each with a unique sexual function to bring forth new life. To dismantle this sole definition of marriage and try to legitimize what God calls abominable sexual practices that include sodomy, reveals our ignorance as to the ills that come when society is forced to accept law that violates their very own God-given nature of what is right and what is wrong. 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.”
Court’s stance has led to calls for officials to change the name of Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open.
Tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King are among those who have spoken out against Court, and the Aussie believes the campaign against her is unfair, as she told Vision Christian Radio (h/t the Guardian): “I think it’s bullying. [I’ve got] nothing against homosexuals—as individuals, they can do what they want to do—but my belief as a Christian is marriage the Bible way and I think it’s sad that these people are using that to try to hit below the belt.”
The 74-year-old Court holds the record for most career Grand Slam titles, but Serena Williams trails by only one with 23.
Show Court One was renamed Margaret Court Arena in 2003.