Billie Jean King backs calls to rename Margaret Court Arena

  • Billie Jean King backs calls to rename Margaret Court Arena

Billie Jean King backs calls to rename Margaret Court Arena

Court had been derogatory about LGBT people before but stepped up her campaign past year, before the public vote on whether to legalise gay marriage in Australia, including writing a letter to The Western Australian newspaper stating her intention "to use other airlines where possible", after the chief executive of Qantas signalled the company's support for same-sex marriage, and giving a series of radio interviews denouncing LGBT people.

Three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka said: "At the end of the day, the comments [Court] made were wrong, for sure".

"I personally don't think she should have (her name on the stadium) anymore".

Ms Navratilova recently told the New York Times she wouldn't play on the court, but doubted current players would make the decision. "It's a public facility".

"If something was to be done, I think it would be a lot more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts", Murray said last spring. "If I were playing today, I would not play on it", King said during a press conference in Melbourne on Friday. I was fine until lately when she says so many derogatory things about my community.

King, who is a leading gay rights and equality activist, added that she is disappointed that Court will not be in attendance this year as she would like to have discussed the issue with her face-to-face, and claimed that she has a responsibility to live up to by having her name attributed to such a venue - just like she does at Flushing Meadows in the United States.

Organizers have recognized the American tennis great as the Australian Open Woman of the Year and launched its "Open4All" initiative to promote equality, diversity and inclusion to coincide with King's visit. Maybe because of our community, the L.G.B.T.I.Q. community, people might feel differently. It said, simply, 'Yes!', emblazoned on a background of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple tennis balls: a symbol of the tennis community's support for equal marriage in Australia, which became legal earlier this week.

However, she said comments from her friend past year blaming the devil for people being transgender "put her over the edge". "It's a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world, to get the minds of the children". I was looking forward to seeing her. "We are all God's children, so I probably don't think it's appropriate to have her name".

The players have been placed in a hard position and Konta was one of the few willing to really engage with the subject at her pre-tournament press conference.

"Our position hasn't changed", he said.

- On apartheid in South Africa, she said in 1970: 'It is a tragedy that politics has come into sport. They are not the views of our organization and not the views of our sport.

King is one of a long list of people who have called for the arena's name to be changed.

Margaret Court Arena generally hosts five marquee matches per day through the first week of the tournament, and is sold as a separate ticket from the rest of the grounds.

The 2018 Australian tennis open on Monday, January 15.