Tennis legend Andy Murray has joined the many players and fans calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed.
The Melbourne Park venue is named for the record-breaking Court, now a 78-year-old pentecostal preacher whose homophobic and transphobic remarks have drawn criticism over recent years.
Murray, a five-time finalist at Melbourne Park, said that Court’s views were at odds with the values of tennis, The Guardian has reported.
“When you get to the Australian Open, you want to concentrate on the tennis,” he said. “Court’s views detract from that.
“As far as renaming the venue … yes, it’s something the sport should consider.
“I don’t know who makes the final decision on that, but I don’t think her values are what tennis stands for.”
Tennis Australia this year honoured Court on the fiftieth anniversary of her grand slam, while distancing itself from her politics and saying it disagreed with her “personal views”.
Court claimed that she was discriminated against because Tennis Australia did not allow her to make a speech at the celebration.
“I think they think because I’m a preacher I’m going to preach the gospel, but I would never do that,” she said at the time.
Court has made many public comments against LGBTIQ people since the Australian marriage equality debate.
She was vocally against same-sex marriage and threatened to boycott airline Qantas over CEO Alan Joyce’s support for it.
The former world champion has since turned on the trans community in particular, claiming at one point that the devil turns children trans.
“She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years,” said Murray.
“I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing.”
John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova were reprimanded in January for their public protest at the Australian Open, where they called for the venue to be named after Indigenous tennis champion Evonne Goolagong.