'Not what we stand for': Andy Murray takes latest shot at Margaret Court

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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  • Andy Murray
    Andy Murray
    British professional tennis player from Scotland
  • Margaret Court
    Australian tennis player
Andy Murray (pictured right) fist-pumping and Margaret Court (pictured left) during a ceremony.
Andy Murray (pictured right) said the sport should consider renaming Margaret Court Arena (Margaret Court pictured left) due to her polarising views on same-sex marriage. (Getty Images)

Tennis great Andy Murray has weighed in on the debate regarding Margaret Court Arena and has called for a change of name.

Court, who has a record 24 Grand Slam titles, has come under criticism in recent years for her strong views on same-sex marriage.

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Earlier this year, the 77 year-old - who once described homosexuality as an "abominable sexual practice" - wasn't impressed with Tennis Australia after Court was honoured at the Australian Open to mark the 50th anniversary of her grand slam winning season.

Tennis Australia rejected her stance on gay marriage and homosexuality, said it had done everything it could for Court, including paying for her and 16 family members to attend a fortnight at the Open.

Tension escalated the day after the ceremony when former players Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe protested, called for her name to be erased from Margaret Court Arena - named after her in 1987 - and replaced with that of Evonne Goolagong.

Now, Murray has weighed in on the growing debate and said it was a positive players had shown their support and spoken out for equality.

Murray said the debate was similar to the removal of historically inappropriate statues and said renaming of the arena was “something the sport should consider.”

“I don’t think her values are what tennis stands for,” he said in Pride Life magazine.

“When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis.

“Court’s views detract from that.”

Legends slam Margaret Court

Earlier this year, Navratilova and John McEnroe lined up to criticise Court's "homophobic" views, insisting she had lost the right to command respect from fans because her religious ideals were "actually hurting people".

"There's only one thing longer than the list of Margaret Court's list of achievements: it's her list of offensive and homophobic statements," McEnroe said in a video for Eurosport.

"Margaret Court is actually a ventriloquist, using the Bible as a dummy to say whatever she wants," added the seven-time Grand Slam winner.

Margaret Court lifts a replica Daphne Akhurst trophy on Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Men's Singles fourth round match.
Margaret Court lifts a replica Daphne Akhurst trophy on Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Men's Singles fourth round match. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

WTA founder Billie Jean King is one senior figure to call for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed, and Navratilova is also a frequent critic.

"It's just unfortunate because I think what Margaret Court doesn't realise is how many people she hurts with her rhetoric," Navratilova told media on Monday.

"She can believe whatever she wants but she's actually hurting people, and that's not okay."

In retirement, Court, now a church pastor and based in Perth, Western Australia, has often attracted controversy over her views on race and homosexuality.

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