Billie Jean King wants Margaret Court Arena renamed

The former rivals in 2016. Pic Getty

The former rivals in 2016. Pic Getty

Billie Jean King has called on the Margaret Court arena to be renamed in light of Court's continued homophobic and transphobic comments.

That question was posed to Tennis Channel's Mary Carillo by Jon Wertheim in the latest Beyond the Baseline podcast (listen here) during a discussion about Margaret Court, the 24-time Grand Slam singles champion.

King, 74, spoke out at a press...

'I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage.

Konta said: "I think it's sad not to have him here".

'Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling'.

"I think if you were talking about Indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can't imagine the public would want to have her name on something".

"That's what Hitler did and that's what communism did, got the minds of the children". It's a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world, to get the minds of the children'.

King is attending the Australian Open for the first time in eight years, marking the 50th anniversary of her win over Court for the Australian title.

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- On apartheid in South Africa, she said in 1970: 'It is a tragedy that politics has come into sport.

"I was really for her to have it", she said.

King, who is a leading gay rights and equality activist, added that she is disappointed that Court will not be in attendance this year as she would like to have discussed the issue with her face-to-face, and claimed that she has a responsibility to live up to by having her name attributed to such a venue - just like she does at Flushing Meadows in the United States. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights (note to Court: we are human beings, too).

Court, now a church pastor, last year railed against same-sex marriage, claimed tennis was "full of lesbians" and that transgender children were the result of a Nazi-style "plot" to brainwash young people. Whether I say yes or no, it's still not going to be up to me. "For players to be in a position where you're in a slam and kind of boycotting playing on the court, I think would potentially cause a lot of issues".

'I was fine until lately she said so many derogatory things about my community, I'm a gay woman; about the LGBTIQ community.

Over time, King said, Court's comments about gays and lesbians "really went deep in my heart and soul".

"Maybe because it's the LGBTI community people might feel differently, but we're all God's children, so I probably don't think it's appropriate to have her name".

Court also criticised Australian player Casey Dellacqua for having two children with her female partner, and her comments led to a threat of a boycott at the third show court in Melbourne that was named after the 24-grand slam victor in 2003. "But if I would be scheduled on Margaret Court, I will play on Margaret Court".

King drew a contrast between herself and Martina Navratilova, who has been calling for the name to be changed since a year ago, saying she had needed to be "very reflective before I come out and say anything".

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