Controversial tennis great Margaret Court has not been invited to this year’s Australian Open. The 78 year old prodigy, who is still in line for her Order of Australia was left stumped at this decision.
Debates raged online after it became public that Margaret Court will soon receive the Companion to the Order of Australia, which is the highest civilian honor in the country. Court was already made an Officer to the Order of Australia back in 2007.
The 78-year-old has had unquestionable feats on the tennis court, with over 24 grand slam titles, which still stands as the benchmark for singles titles. However, her views on the LGBTQ community and on same-sex marriages have made Court really unpopular with the masses and drew a lot of angry criticism toward herself. Recent news of Court receiving the Order of Australia award has further stoked the fire.
“No, because I loved representing my nation,” Court told 3AW on Tuesday. “When I got the AO it was for my community reach program. We put out 75 tons of food a week. And this was for my tennis, and I think it was a long-time coming.”
“I wasn’t one who looked for it. I didn’t know I was getting it. I was very honored when I was told I was. There wasn’t a lot of fuss about it, but there has been a lot of other people who have made a lot of fuss about it.”
Court added further that she wouldn’t come to the Australian Open, even if she was invited. “I’m not coming to the Australian Open. No, I wasn’t invited,” Court said. “With coronavirus, we’ve been so busy with our community work. I haven’t even thought about it.”
While Court reiterated her view point that being gay is a curable choice, she further went on to say that a lot of what she said was misconstrued by trolls online. She also talked about the constant bullying and trolling she’s gone through during the last few years.
“I’ve always said what the Bible says,” she said. “I don’t hate anybody. I love people, and I love gay people and transgender people, and we get them into our community services. We never turn anybody away.”
“A lot of things were said which I never really said, which I think was the sad part.”
“I’ve been bullied a lot in the last few years, and I don’t mind. That’s alright. But if I say anything, then [they say] I’m a bigot and I’m everything else, and I don’t like that,” Court concluded.
As controversial as her opinions might be, they take nothing away from the stellar career that Margaret Court has enjoyed on the tennis court. Her laurels still stand out in individual tennis and make her a stalwart of the game. This justified the decision to give Court the Companion to the Order of Australia, which is the highest civilian honor in the country.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urJvkseYK3s