Two legendary tennis players are calling for the renaming of Australia’s Margaret Court Arena due to the namesake’s biblical views on marriage and sexuality.
John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova held an on-court protest Tuesday and unfurled a banner after their legends doubles match, urging officials to remove Margaret Court’s name off the arena that hosts Australian Open matches.
Like McEnroe and Navratilova, Court is a tennis legend, having won the most women’s Grand Slam singles titles (24) in the history of the sport and the most Grand Slam titles among all disciplines (64) when including doubles and mixed doubles.
But Court, 77, is now a Pentecostal pastor. In 1995 she founded a church, Victory Life Centre, where she serves as senior pastor.
McEnroe and Navratilova held a banner reading, “Evonne Goolagong Arena” – their suggestion for the arena’s new name. Goolagong is an Australian who won seven Grand Slam women’s singles titles.
Navratilova then climbed in the umpire’s chair and addressed the crowd.
“I’ve been speaking out about an issue for a while now and John McEnroe is here to join me and push the conversation forward,” she said before the television feed was cut off, according to CNN.
Court’s outspoken views on marriage and sexuality have stirred controversy. She opposes same-sex marriage and believes sex is reserved for a married man and a woman. She recently said in a sermon of children changing genders at a young age: “When children are making the decision at 7 or 8 years of age to change their sex … no, just read the first two chapters of Genesis; that’s all I say. [God] made male and female.
“It’s so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm at that age,” Court said. “And they start to question, ‘What am I?’ No – if you are a Christian … you believe the Word of God. This is our TV Guide to life … And you have got young people taking hormones and having changes, by the time they are 17 they think, ‘Now I’m a boy and really I was a girl.’”
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Source: Christian Headlines