Tim Wilson says renaming Margaret Court Arena would be like ‘1984’

Liberal MP Tim Wilson has voiced his support for keeping Margaret Court’s name on Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, saying that calls to rename the venue would be “too 1984” for his liking.

There have been renewed calls for the sporting venue to renamed in light of the former tennis players statements about LGBTI people. Court has a long history of making statements critical of LGBTI people and their families.

After her retirement from tennis Court founded the Victory Life Centre in Perth, a pentecostal church that has thousands of followers.

This week Tennis Australia recognised the 50th anniversary of Court’s Grand Slam in 1970, but publicly stated that they were only celebrating her sporting achievements, and did not support her comments about sexuality and gender.

The day after the presentation Tennis players Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe staged on protest calling for Court’s name to be taken off the arena.  Both players subsequently apologised for their action, but said they stood by their call for Court’s name to be removed.

Speaking to The Age, Wilson said he thought the suggestion to change the venue’s name was Orwellian.

“If you believe in a society of pluralism and diversity you have to accept people will have different views on morality,” Wilson said.

“I have regard for Margaret Court, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova’s sporting prowess, but it doesn’t extend to their opinions.

“Airbrushing people’s legacy for expressing cultural dissent is too ‘1984’ for my liking,” Wilson said.

Prior to becoming the Member for Goldstein, Wilson was a Human Rights Commissioner focussed on equality and a spokesperson at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

OIP Staff

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