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Margaret Court

Comments Off on Margaret Court 13 January 2018

Margaret Court

I have little interest in tennis or tennis players. I very much like Andy Murray who I believe could be amongst the greatest sportspeople this country has ever produced. I like and admire the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal but to be honest I wouldn’t open my curtains if they were playing in my back garden. I am even less interested in the Australian female player Johanna Konta.

It isn’t because she isn’t really British because, let’s face it, many of our national teams feature players who are not from Britain, or more specifically, England. She’s also dull, has a tiresome power-based game and did I mention she wasn’t British?

Konta is happy to play her games on Margaret Court, the main court in Melbourne named after Margaret Court, the legendary Aussie player. As well as being a legendary player, Mrs Court is a Class A bigot, a religious fanatic and, as a consequence, a homophobe of epic proportions who campaigns against equal marriage. If I had any tennis skills at all, no way on earth would I play on a court named after this ghastly woman. It would be my choice.

Similarly, it is Court’s choice to hold bigoted, homophobic views. As long as she doesn’t break the law, Court is allowed to be an unpleasant person. It’s called freedom of the speech, which includes the freedom to be offensive and, in my case, the freedom to be offended.

The decision of Konta to play on Margaret Court is hers alone. In my view, it shows the struggle to achieve true LGBT equality is still many years away because, hopefully, one day we will all evolve sufficiently to accept that LGBY = “normal”, whatever normal is.

Konta says: “It’s not nice to be answering these sorts of questions in press. It’s not really what this tournament is about. It’s not what these sorts of sporting events are about. They’re about equality, they’re about showcasing men and women, wheelchair tennis. Yeah, kind of celebrating tennis in that way.” Well, it’s not nice but I’m afraid the naming of a tennis court after a bigot has become what part of this tournament is about. It’s about showcasing men, women, wheelchair tennis and bigotry. The fact that Konta is prepared to play on Margaret Court merely vindicates bigotry.

And I wouldn’t say that just about Konta. I’d say it about any player who chose to play on Margaret Court.

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