Outrage over lack of Margaret Court coverage during Wimbledon

Margaret Court

In the lead up to the Wimbledon tennis finals last week Margaret Court’s name began to trend on Twitter.

People shared their outrage that the sporting star, turned evangelical preacher, was travelling to the United Kingdom to watch the tennis.

Questions were asked, did the politically connected pastor pull some strings to get permission to leave the country during the Covid crisis? What about the thousands of Australian’s who’ve been waiting months to re-enter the country?

Other commented that they didn’t mind Court leaving the country, just as long as she wasn’t let back in again. Some posts even suggested that Prime Minister Scott Morrison may have picked Court up when he visited Perth on his way to the G7 conference last month.

As Australian Ash Barty went on to win the women’s singles championship, the first time an Australian has won since Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s 1980 success, people continued their online rants about Court’s presence at tennis’s greatest event.

Had Court, world famous for her anti-gay rhetoric, been insensitively seated next to lesbian tennis champion Martina Navratilova? Footage of Navratilova chatting to Billie Jean King quickly turned into a meme.

In turn conservative commentators started to get worked up about Court not being featured in television coverage, censorship they cried!

The only problem with the outrage is that Margaret Court was never there, and she’s probably not left the Perth metropolitan area for months.

On Thursday night she appeared on Alan Jones Sky News program in a live cross from Perth, so clearly she had not hitched a lift with the PM, but that did nothing to stop the online accusations.

Court was at also highly visible at her Victory Life Church preaching the gospel on Sunday morning – her sermons are live streamed.

Sky News host Rita Panahi commented on the response to Court’s apparent Wimbledon appearance saying it was “based on the absolute hate and hysteria of the left.”

“There seemed to be more tweets about Margaret Court and how dare she be there… and what right has she got to be there.

“Even in this jubilant moment, the hate is what just dominates their thinking.” Panahi said, apparently unaware that Court hadn’t even left the country.

In The Spectator magazine conservative writer James McPherson hit out the Court haters, noting that Court was barely visible in the television coverage, as broadcasters focused more on Evonne Goolagong Crawley’s achievements and Court’s achievement’s barely rated a mention.

Conservative group Family Voice Australia fired off a missive claiming the online comments about Court over the last week were precisely the reason Australian needs strict religious freedom laws as quickly as possible.

Whatever your political persuasion is, as Winston Churchill famously said; “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”.

Graeme Watson
Managing Editor 

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