Anthony Albanese questions if Court is really being awarded for tennis

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese has questioned if Margaret Court is really being given an Australia Day Honour for her contributions to tennis.

The independent committee, that operates under the purview of the Governor-General, has been criticised today after it was revealed that the retired tennis star turned religious leader would be given thre Companion of the Order of Australia award next week.

Posting to social media Albanese said Court had already been acknowledged for her tennis career.

“Margaret Court has already been honoured for her tennis prowess. She’s already an Officer of the Order of Australia. I think it’s clear for everyone to see that making her a Companion of the Order of Australia has nothing to do with tennis.”

A similar sentiment was shared by the member for Gellibrand, Tim Watts.

“Margaret Court hasn’t played tennis in a long time, so we can only assume that the EXTRA gong she’s receiving is for post-tennis ‘works’. It’s concerning that recent years have seen gongs awarded that have felt more like attempts to divide Australians than to celebrate service.” Watts posted to Twitter.

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the award being given to Reverend Court arguing that alongside her achievements as a tennis player, the religious leader has also been an ambassador for Australia and made significant contributions through her church, The Victory Life Centre. 

Former state Liberal MP Peter Abetz, who is now the WA Director of the lobby group, said Reverend Court has always treated gay and transgender people with respect.

 “Anyone who has worked with Margaret Court, or knows her as I do, will testify that she treats gay and transgender people with absolute respect and dignity,” Abetz said in a media statement. 

The ACL director said people who did not appreciate that Reverend Court was a tremendous example to all Australians were “narrow-minded”. Abetz said Australians needed to accept that some people would have different views, and be proud of the country’s religious and cultural diversity. 

 The Australian Christian Lobby said the Council for the Order of Australia should be congratulated for resisting “cancel culture” and choosing Court to be a recipient of the award. 

OIP Staff

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