Billie Jean King says she’s prepared to bury the hatchet with Court

Tennis great Billie Jean King says she’s prepared to stop calling for Margaret Court’s name to be removed from the Melbourne Tennis Centre arena if Court learns to be “more loving” towards the LGBTIQ+ community.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, King reflected on her disagreements with the Perth based former Tennis champion turned religious leader.

“She’s mad at me, because she doesn’t want me to say her name should be removed,” King told the Daily News. “And I appreciate that. I’m going to stop probably.”

But she added she wants Court, to be “more loving.”

King wasn’t present at the Australian Open earlier this month when tennis greats Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe staged a protest against the venue being named Margaret Court Arena, but said if she had been there she would not have taken part.

The former Tennis player said she didn’t believe Court however lived up to the responsibilities of having such an esteemed venue baring her name because of her negative comments about LGBTIQ+ people.

“When someone has their name on something, you’ve got to be really hospitable, and I feel that Margaret’s not doing that,” King told the paper at Carnegie Hall after she took part in a panel on women’s rights as part of History Talks, put on by A+E Networks.

Margaret Court has often defended her negative comments about gay and transgender people by saying she loves all people, and regularly notes that many gay people who have attended her church have gone on to have heterosexual relationships and start families.

OIP Staff

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