Margaret Court to skip Australian Open after gay uproar

Updated: Jan 05, 2018, 18:11 IST | Agencies | Melbourne

Tennis great Margaret Court, whose views on homosexuality sparked calls for a boycott of the Australian Open stadium named after her, will not attend this year’s tournament, organisers said today

Margaret Court
Margaret Court

Tennis great Margaret Court, whose views on homosexuality sparked calls for a boycott of the Australian Open stadium named after her, will not attend this year’s tournament, organisers said today.

The Australian legend, now a church pastor, initially drew fire for saying last year she would avoid Qantas airline for its support of same-sex marriage, which became law in her homeland in December. She later claimed tennis was "full of lesbians" and that transgender children were the result of a Nazi-style plot. Her views drew stinging criticism from a host of players including gay former star Martina Navratilova. The furore led to suggestions that some players would boycott the Margaret Court Arena unless the flagship stadium at Melbourne Park was renamed.

Court, 75, poured more fuel by claiming a gay conspiracy from America was behind calls to strip her name from the arena. "As a former champion Margaret was invited to the Australian Open. We have been advised she will not be attending this year," organisers told AFP.

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