Margaret Court has been honoured to mark the 50-year anniversary of her four consecutive Grand Slam wins, but Tennis Australia has spoken out against her homophobic and transphobic commentary.
The tennis legend and Pentecostal preacher has publicly been vocal against the LGBTIQ community since the Australian marriage equality debate.
Court was earlier this month criticised by others including fellow player Martina Navratilova for her ongoing comments, which have included bizarre claims that the devil turns children trans and controls the media.
While honouring Court’s sporting achievements, Tennis Australia has distanced itself from her controversial opinions, according to Yahoo Sports.
“As often stated, Tennis Australia does not agree with Margaret’s personal views, which have demeaned and hurt many in our community over a number of years,” said the organisation in a statement.
“They do not align with our values of equality, diversity and inclusion.”
Court, who announced in 2017 that she would boycott Qantas over the airline’s support for marriage equality, has claimed being gay is “a choice” and called trans people “of the devil”.
She has also defended former rugby star Israel Folau’s divisive comments about LGBTIQ people needing to “repent”, saying he has been “persecuted”.
“I understand why Israel is doing this: you want everybody to know Christ and under it all there is a great love for your nation and you want people to know what you have received,” said Court.
“That means drug addicts, gays, alcoholics: they all come to my church and I love them and I’m sure Israel loves them too.
“What he is saying about repenting is straight out of the Bible.
“My heart goes out to him because he’s being persecuted.”
Many have called for Court’s name to be removed from Margaret Court Arena in light of her homophobic and transphobic remarks, including openly gay tennis great Billie Jean King.