British ace Andy Murray calls for renaming of Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Sep 17, 2020, 02:59 PM(IST)

File photo: Andy Murray. Photograph:( AFP )

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In retirement, Court, who follows a Christian church pastor, gave controversial statements on topics of race and homosexuality. 

British ace Andy Murray has asked the officials to rename Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena over her controversial anti-gay stance. The three-time Grand Slam winner said: "I don't think her values are what tennis stands for".

Murray's remarks follow calls from WTA founder Billie Jean King to remove Court's name from one of the top tennis arenas/stadiums at the Australian Open's Melbourne Park venue.

Also read: Navratilova, McEnroe row with Margaret Court heats up at Australian Open

"She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years," said Murray in an interview with Pridelife.com. "I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing. 

"As far as renaming the venue. I think that yes, it's something the sport should consider. I don't know who makes the final decision on that but I don't think her values are what tennis stands for.

"When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court's views detract from that," said Murray, who has been men's singles runner-up five times at the Melbourne Grand Slam tournament.

Magaret Court is considered to be the greatest women's tennis player who holds a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles. 

In January earlier this year, Tennis Australia held a low-key ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of her 1970 calendar-year Grand Slam after noting her views had "demeaned and hurt many in our community".

In retirement, Court, who follows a Christian church pastor, gave controversial statements on topics of race and homosexuality. 

The Australian once praised South Africa's apartheid system, said "tennis is full of lesbians" and described transgender children as "the work of the devil".

"Court was given a ceremony at the Australian Open this year to mark her achievements in the game, but the reception she received from the public was lukewarm," Murray said.

During this year's Australian Open, American tennis legends John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova unfurled a banner on-court calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed after Evonne Goolagong, the three-time Australian Open winner. They were later condemned for the act. 

(Inputs from AFP)

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