Tennis legend Margaret Court: ‘Tennis is full of lesbians’ & something about Hitler

Margaret Court is one of the legends in the world of tennis. Her career spanned the pre-Open Era and the Open Era. She won 24 Slam titles, all throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. She is Australian, and she’s widely celebrated in Melbourne, at the Australian Open (a singles title she won 11 times). They named one of the big courts after her in Australia: a lot of female tennis players play all of their biggest Aussie Open matches on Margaret Court Arena, and Court still sits courtside for many of the biggest matches in Melbourne. Court is also tasked with handing out the women’s singles trophy most years in Melbourne.

After Court retired from tennis, she became a Pentecostal minister and formed the Margaret Court Ministries. Her church has apparently been rabidly anti-LGBTQ for years now. But it’s only in the past month that people have gotten a broader look at Court’s homophobia and bigotry. First, she picked a fight with Qantas – the airline is a supporter of marriage equality, and Court said she was going to personally boycott the company because of that. Court wrote in an open letter: “I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage. I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.” Eyeroll. So, there was already some muttering and side-eyes about Court. Then she absolutely unloaded all of her LGBTQ-bigotry in a radio interview a few days ago:

Court on lesbians in tennis: “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.”

A word salad about marriage equality: “We know that homosexuality is a lust of the flesh, so is adultery, fornication, all those things … they too know this, this is why they want marriage, because it’s self-satisfying. I think they know it comes against Christianity, the beliefs of God, but in some way it’s justifying.”

The gay lobby: “The gay lobby is behind that bullying program in schools and children not knowing, whether they are taking out a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ and an ‘it’ and a ‘we’ or ‘they’ and if you feel like being a girl you can dress like a girl. I think, ‘what confusion for a child,’ I get confused talking about it. … There is a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world today to get the minds of the children.”

Hitler & the children: “God’s got so much in there about the mind how it affects us, affects our emotions, our feelings, you can think ‘oh I’m a boy’ and it’ll affect your emotions and feelings, and everything else and so that’s all the Devil. That’s what Hitler did, that’s what Communism did — got the mind of the children. And it’s a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.”

[From Deadspin]

First of all, “there were only a couple there but those couple that led took young ones into parties.” Come on, if Billie Jean King or Martina Navratilova asked if you wanted to hit up the club with them, YOU WOULD GO. I would go! I bet it would be amazing to go to some of Martina and Billie Jean’s lesbian parties!!

So, yeah, obviously Margaret Court is a whackadoodle and a bigot. The Margaret Court Arena should be renamed so that this global sport can better represent tolerance and equality. The tennis world has descended on Paris for the French Open and of course all of the players have been asked about it. Martina Navratilova called Court a “racist and a homophobe” (apparently, Court had a history of supporting apartheid too). Andy Murray – who hasn’t had one day of peace since becoming world #1 – had to speak out in support of marriage equality, and he said that renaming the arena needed to sorted out immediately. Aussie #1 Sam Stosur wasn’t having any of Court’s crazy either, but Sam stopped short of saying the arena should be renamed.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

75 Responses to “Tennis legend Margaret Court: ‘Tennis is full of lesbians’ & something about Hitler”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. guest says:

    She sounds nuts.

    • Ceire says:

      So nuts!

      “I get confused talking about it” – that’s ’cause you’re a moron, lady.

    • LinaLamont says:

      It comes with the territory of being a religious fanatic… or any fanatic, for that matter.
      Rename the court. Who need a Court court anyway?

    • DystopianDance says:

      Some day (soon) racism and xenophobia will be officially labeled a mental disorder in the Diagnostic manual for psychology. Officially she’s not “nuts” but a divisive, and in my opinion, a cruelly bigoted person. Because she clearly labels a large faction of persons as “evil”, she has no right to have her name on an inclusive sport’s arena. Because of her own divisive agenda, the name needs to change!

  2. Feedmechips says:

    In my head this sounds like the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown. Just unintelligible nonsense.

  3. Sixer says:

    “if you ask me, South Africa has the racial situation rather better organised than anyone else, certainly much better than the United States”

    That was her during the apartheid era.

    • sarri says:

      She’s a lunatic.

    • Sixer says:

      Not sure when she went full-on fundie Christian, but I think it was a while after she actually played and commentated. But her views have always been such. She made comments like this about apartheid South Africa several times – remember there was a sports boycott in those days, so that’s why her opinion was asked. And she weighed into Billie Jean King too, at one point, I’m sure. So religion or otherwise, she’s always been a bigot.

      • commonsense says:

        you know I try to control my emotions and rarely use strong language, but as a South African (black South African) and an LGBTQ ally I say F*** her.

      • Sixer says:

        I can only imagine and am sorry.

  4. Sullivan says:

    Oh, dear . . . I can’t . . . She is . . .

  5. 1979 says:

    She looks like a toad. A horrible, warty toad.

    • Sixer says:

      She looks like an old lady. Her views are offensive. What she looks like is immaterial to her views and there are infinite better ways to state that than reducing ourselves to misogynistic comments about appearance.

      • 1979 says:

        Ah your right. I shouldn’t be rude about toads, it’s not fair.

      • Sixer says:

        I am right! We need to get out of a mindset where our go-to criticism of women who say things or hold views we don’t like is to call them ugly. Particularly any name-calling that is associated with witches, as toads are.

        Sorry to sound sanctimonious but you’re trivialising bigotry if your only complaint is that the bigot isn’t pretty enough.

      • 1979 says:

        You do sound sanctimonious and you are dragging the thread way off topic. She’s entitled to her opinion and is free to express it. But as has been pointed out, there are consequences to that for her. Her reputation as one of the greatest tennis players is in tatters and the tennis court willl most likely be renamed. It’s up to the tennis community to decide what happens. I find her views abborant by the way.

      • slowsnow says:

        I agree with Sixer. Plus: with so much to criticize, that’s where you go @1979?

      • Sixer says:

        1979 – she’s saying exactly the same stuff today that she’s been saying since the 1970s, when she wasn’t wrinkled and old. You don’t need to resort to misogynistic slurs to condemn the woman, so why do it? Helps no-one.

      • Becky says:

        1979, you took it off topic when you made the comment.

        What I don’t get about extremists like Court; if you want to live by your beliefs fair enough, as long as it doesn’t adversely affect others. Don’t force your beliefs on other people.

      • KiddVicious says:

        You make a good point, Sixer, but aren’t all Trump threads full of comments making fun of his looks? It’s not just misogyny. If someone is unpopular for whatever reason, their looks are often called into it, male or female. Ugly on the inside makes for ugly on the outside.

        If someone is being judged just because of the way they look, then yeah, it needs to stop. That’s not the case with Court.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Kiddvicious It’s just that women’s looks are always brought to the table whenever they are criticized. Always. Here, this woman never said anything about looks but about people’s sexuality. Trump judges people, and women in particular, on their looks when he is, well, his orange self.
        To be honest with you, I avoid Trump’s threads sometimes because of that. There’s venting (which I have done in the first days). And then there’s VENTING. I prefer argumentation and analysis. I don’t want to be like THEM.
        I tell my kids constantly to not comment on people’s looks even if they’re not listening. It’s an easy way out of good argumentation.

      • KiddVicious says:

        @slowsnow: I’m in total agreement in all that you said. But it’s not just women, that’s my point. Any Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Ben Affleck post and you’ll find people criticizing their looks. You (collective you) can’t call out people for criticizing women’s looks when it’s happening with the men too. Hypocrisy at its best.

        And I’m guilty of it. I admit it. I feel bad when I do it, for about a second, but it doesn’t stop me.

      • Sixer says:

        KiddVicious – well, that might hold true if patriarchy didn’t exist. But it does and it means that women are judged by appearance in ways men are not. And the witch trope is evoked in a way it isn’t with men. Apples and oranges in terms of reinforcing structural oppression.

        On a personal level, I might call Trump the Orange One as a mickey take. But that’s as far as I’d take it. I might mock a fashion shoot (man or woman) if I think it makes the shootee look ridiculous but again, that’s as far as I’d take it.

      • Slowsnow says:

        @Kiddvicious you are spot on, we do it too. I have to admit I don’t like it, particularly the “gross” word and I call out on it when I feel it’s appropriate. For instance, I like fashion but even then I don’t like to say negative stuff about someone’s style as it is a self-affirmation vehicle and everybody should be able to dress the way they want.
        But what remains is that apart from this website, the collective appraisal of women is physical and of men is related to what they do. In this case this woman looks like any old woman, there is no need to go down that route. I think feminist agendas revert back to the world and allow us to be inclusive and generous all around.

      • annabanana says:

        thank you for this sixer, well said.

    • RBC says:

      I would just consider her a wart. Annoying and gross

  6. 1979 says:

    And she looked like she was sucking lemons when she handed Serena Williams her trophy at the Australian open this year. I am so hoping when Serena comes back she grinds Courts record into dust.

  7. Tanguerita says:

    Martina and Billie probably never invited HER to the parties. The insane b´´ch is just butthurt and jealous – she missed out on all the fun! They should totally rename the arena ASAP. The gay lobby, my ass.

  8. Pedro45 says:

    She said one thing that’s (unintentionally) true, she certainly gets confused talking about it. She should stop talking.

  9. adastraperaspera says:

    Billie Jean and Martina were life-saving role models for me and my young lesbian peers back in the Rubyfruit Jungle days.

  10. Plibersek says:

    It should be renamed the Tina Arena.

  11. Eiré says:

    The woman is a disgrace. The shining light of the discussion, however–apart from the masterful takedowns; both those mentioned here and others locally–is Navratilova’s idea about Evonne Goolagong Cawley Arena. A graceful and kind woman, and a brilliantly talented player.

    • Lozface says:

      Agreed! Evonne’s story is so wonderful too… An Australian we can be proud of!

      Margaret is an absolute disgrace and thankfully is copping it big time in the media here in Australia. I wish she had absolutely no air time though.

      I would love to see the Arena renamed and Evonne would be perfect.

  12. third ginger says:

    Why do homophobes always think that LGBT people magically transform others and gather hordes to their “lifestyle.” ? But now that I think about it, my daughter and her girlfriend do know a lot of other lesbians……LOL Just have to laugh as I am certain my little girl would. The future belongs to her, not this sad excuse for a person.

    • slowsnow says:

      Yes. I do believe that this hatred (and invented parties that “corrupt” straights) comes from feeling threatened. My father, who is tolerant of our cousin’s sexuality (she’s a lesbian) said with a discusted air that she “chased straight girls” when they were teens. I laughed because it was such a flagrant case of not really knowing the hardship of being seen like that while others are just “courting”.

      Fastforward to now: in a small town school in Portugal two lesbian girls kissed and they were told by the school never to do that because it disturbs other people (while straight kids can kiss). All the students boycotted the school and demonstrated with rainbows and really funny signs.

      Yes, we’re slowly getting there.

    • Becky says:

      Yes, and she seems to be confusing gay and transgender- but then she’s a fundamentalist wackadoodle so that’s no surprise.

    • Cherise says:

      “Why do homophobes always think that LGBT people magically transform others and gather hordes to their “lifestyle.” ?”

      Because they are gay themselves and just barely hanging onto their hetero act by a thread. They suspect that any exposure to an out gay person could be the thing that shatters the last if tgeir will power.

      • slowsnow says:

        I wish it were that simple. Some homophobes are, for sure. But others feel threatened in their own tranquility. I believe it is purely territorial. Have you ever heard the argument: “if we were all gay, how would we reproduce?” – it’s an earth shattering notion that suddenly the straight point of view no longer prevails.
        Example: I always say about my kids “when they have boyfriends or girlfriends” and it shocks people. I am pretty sure some parents put me on their black lists just for that.

      • AnnaKist says:

        SlowSnow: I used to say the same thing when my children were growing up. All of them are straight, and as some of their friends came out, none batted an eyelid. A few girls tried it on with my daughter – they were in their late teens, and not long out – but she was cool about it and they’re still close friends.

        Margaret was an absolute icon here, but I think she’s completely blown it now. It’s wonderful that QANTAS has so publicly come out on the side of the LGBTQI community; more companies should follow their lead. I believe it’s come from the top down, since Alan Joyce (QANTAS CEO) has openly and proudly said he’s gay. Margaret needs to shut up and mind her own business. We will – eventually – have marriage equality, whether she likes it or not, with or without her support.

    • Sixer says:

      It’s just the age old Pied Piper/child snatcher thing, isn’t it? Also, the bigoted among us like to imply that LGBT people are diseased in some way, so you must keep your children particularly away – in case they “catch” it.

      It beggars belief that folk still think this way in 2017.

  13. justcrimmles says:

    Yes, won’t SOMEONE think of the children? Something something rabid gaygenda something mumble Illuminati bleeble blorp yay Jeebus amen.

  14. Nameless says:

    Does anyone remember Free to be you and Me? IIRC was a film for children about self acceptance. There was a segment about boys who want to play with dolls, and how that was OK. I remember watching it in school…in the 80s. The conversation about gender has been going on for decades, it seems so regressive to profess bafflement at this point. Children don’t get confused by challenging gender norms, they feel bad inside if they don’t fit them.

    • third ginger says:

      Amen. when will people [even older folks] realize that gender norms are culturally imposed?

    • Insomniac says:

      Yes! I had the book and the album from the film and loved them both.

    • doofus says:

      The song was “William Wants a Doll”.

      LOVED that album and film.

    • Imqrious2 says:

      Yup! Marlo Thomas, in the 70s.

      Honestly, how hard is the concept: You believe what YOU want, I will believe what I want… and just respect the right of each to our own beliefs.

  15. HK9 says:

    Coming from a Baptist/Penticostal upbringing, those who are rabidly anti LGBTQ are in the closet. I would bet money she’s a lesbian (not that I wish her on any group of people) and can’t come to terms with it.

  16. Voldielocks says:

    Hitler, communism… uh, what?

  17. Pumpkin Pie says:

    Rename the arena already and since she is such a “believer”, she can go to h**l.

    PS What kind of person creates their own church/ministry, btw?

    • HK9 says:

      People “create” their own ministries when mainstream “read sane” churches won’t put up with her crazy.

  18. milla says:

    she may be a tennis legend, but she is insane… all i got.

  19. TyrantDestroyed says:

    OMG Did she drink a whole bottle of Drano before giving the interview? She sounds like a wacko and I guess her book is full of the same bullshit.

  20. Beth says:

    I’ll never understand why people should even care about someone else’s love life or who they have sex with. Mind your own business, haters. There’s more to worry and care about than people’s private life. People like her are very frustrating

  21. Daisy says:

    The crazy thing is here people are being called bullies if anyone in the media challenges her opinion. Australia dose not have gay marriage yet so we’ve got a long long way to go! I hope they change the name but unless the court get boycotted from the players I don’t see that happening sadly.

  22. Tiffany says:

    ‘Come on, if Billie Jean King or Martina Navratilova asked if you wanted to hit up the club with them, YOU WOULD GO.’

    Yes, yes I would.

    I just cannot image going through life just being so hateful. That is what she is, hateful.

  23. workdog says:

    Why is it always about the sex life? There is more to attraction and a wish to spend a life with someone than that; a person’s humor, compassion, ability to think of another as someone you “need” to spend time with, a pull of emotions that tell you you CARE what happens with and to this other human being. Sex is only a partial area, and surprisingly, not always a huge portion. This fascination with the sex part of LGBTQ life just exposes the very real backward nature of the thought process that keeps a patriarchal position in “power”, as it always wants to relegate a gay man to being a “woman”, which translates to weak and “less than”, which shows where a woman is held in the mindset. I’m not sure I’m being clear; I just know that God is up there going “Jaysus Ka-rist! Where did it all go wrong and twisted!” Damn that free will thingy I put out there! It’s gonna take me forever to get this ish sorted out!
    I do wish he’d get on with it, though! (rueful humor at best)

    She and so many like her are disgustingly repugnant and the very antithesis of what they purport to be. And while I’m not Australian my vote would be yank her name down ASAP. She still gets to keep her titles but no more visible silent support of her by keeping the name up there and no more actual respect by allowing her to present trophies, either.

    Sigh. What the f’n hell? It’s 2017….

    But being an American, with our current nightmare, I fear we will be in 1957 any day now.)-:

    And that’s not even touching on her appalling racism. You know, every baby born is any empty vessel and it gets filled with things as they grow; why fill it with hate, fear, bigotry vs love, compassion, peace? She is totally missing the irony of worrying about the chillruns minds when she is busily loading truckloads of muck into their brains. Sigh.

  24. PrincessK says:

    I really think that this woman is struggling with her own sexual orientation, at her advanced age she seems too be obsessed with Lesbianism. She never looks happy and when I see her at tennis events she always looks as though she is chewing on a wasp.

  25. Harryg says:

    Mmm… what?!

  26. Not old school says:

    I was recently handed down a women’s magazine from 1974 that did a piece on her… it was awful. She was totally touted as the Betty Crocker to Billie Jean King’s Jessica Rabbit. She only played with her husband’s support, and if he ever said stop she’d happily give up tennis. Her children came first vs. BJK’s choice to abort, etc.

    I had my teen daughters read the magazine and asked them the time period. They couldn’t tell because, GUYS, IT READ LIKE MODERN DAY’S TRUMP’S AMERICA! Felt like no progress had been made. Actually felt that progress has been lost! Because after the bit about BJK’s choice to abort there were TWO ads she was featured in. My girls couldn’t believe that. If a celeb publically announced her abortion now she would be fearing for her life, not selling tanning lotion and toothpaste.

  27. Lisa says:

    Oh, dear. Someone should have kept their mouth shut today.

  28. Livealot says:

    As a sports legend, I like that her last name is Court. That’s all I got.

  29. Dumbledork says:

    She crazy.

  30. TuxCat5 says:

    “Tennis is full of lesbians.”