Victorian Premier says Margaret Court should not be honoured

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews says former tennis great turned religious leader Margaret Court does not deserve an additional Australia Day honour.

News broke this morning suggesting that Margaret Court would be receiving the Companion of the Order of Australia honour next week. The Victorian Premier didn’t hold back on sharing his thoughts on the decision.

Andrews said the views Reverend Court held were “disgraceful and hurtful” and it was important to call out bigotry; “Calling out bigotry is always important. This bigoted quackery costs lives.”

“I don’t believe she has views that accord with the vast majority of people across our nation, that see people from the LGBTIQ community as equal and deserving of dignity respect and safety. I don’t believe she shares those views and I don’t believe she should be honoured because of that.”

Premier Andrews said it was for the people who give out the awards to explain why they thought “those views which are disgraceful, hurtful and cost lives should be honoured”.

There have been longstanding calls to rename Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena, including support from many tennis legends including Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and John McEnroe. Debate about the naming of the statement erupts annually as the Australian Open is held at the Victorian facility.

Since retiring from tennis Court has set up her own church in Perth’s northern suburbs. Over the decades she has made numerous comments criticising gay, lesbian, bixsexual and transgender people.

After making his comments at a press conference this morning, the Premier followed up on social media saying Court’s achievement in sport should not overshadow her statements about other sections of the community.

“Grand Slam wins don’t give you some right to spew hatred and create division. Nothing does.” Premier Andrews posted.

OIP Staff

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