Out tennis icon Martina Navratilova is clapping back at former tennis pro turned pastor Margaret Court for her latest “outrageous” comments on the LGBTQ community. She also says there’s no “need to celebrate” the accomplishments of the notorious homophobe and transphone at the Australian Open later this month.
As Outsports reported earlier this week, Court, 77, was delivering a sermon at her church in Perth on Sunday when she took pointed shots at the LGBTQ community, in particular transgender athletes and trans youth. “And you know with that LGBT, they’ll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women’s sports, they’re going to have so many problems,” she stated from the pulpit. “You know, even that LGBT in the schools, it’s the devil, it’s not of God.”
Martina, 63, tweeted on Tuesday that Court’s comments were “outrageous and so wrong,” and accused the Grand Slam singles winner of “hiding behind her Bible.”
It’s outrageous and so wrong. We don’t need to change or re- write history when it comes to anyone’s accomplishments but we do not need to celebrate them. Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 31, 2019
Of course, this wasn’t Martina’s first clapback at Court. In 2017, she openly mocked Court for predicting a same sex marriage referendum down under would spell the end of Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. “Au contraire Margaret- us gays love parties, especially the boys,” Martina tweeted.
Despite Martina’s words and calls by Court’s rival, Billie Jean King, to have her name stripped from the arena where the Australian Open will be played, Tennis Australia is going ahead with plans to honor her for her feat 50 years ago. In an open letter posted in November, Tennis Australia announced its position on Court’s views: “As we have often communicated to Margaret, we respect that everyone has a right to an opinion — and a right to express it. Equally, we all share an obligation that while living our lives freely, we do not harm others, and we understand that there are consequences to our words.”
In another tweet posted later Tuesday morning, Martina commented on a thread posted a day earlier by Olympic hopeful Chris Mosier.
The Team USA duathlete/triathlete had tweeted a “fact check” about trans athletes like himself, to explain the history of trans Olympic athletes — so far, there hasn’t been even one — as well as the rules of the International Olympic Committee on trans participation.
Mosier aims to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Games by competing later this month in the Men’s 50K Race Walk in Santee, Calif. If he succeeds, he would be the first trans athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Mosier was tagged by Martina when she offered her first comment in months about her own perspective on the issue of transgender inclusion in sports.
You’ll recall she spent much of 2019 caught up in the debate over inclusion.
First she tweeted about homophobia, transphobia and Court.
Margaret hasn’t changed her mind on Gays so she sure won’t change it on Trans either- amazing how strong her homophobia truly is…— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) December 31, 2019
Later that evening, as part of the ongoing conversation about trans inclusion, Martina responded to a tweet by a lifelong fan of hers, Lisa Pierce of Minnesota, who declared, “trans women are women.” Martina made it clear that her position on the issue remained unchanged: she refers to it as her “philosophy on fairness” — in favor of cisgender women.
I will not be changing my philosophy on fairness. So there is that…— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) January 1, 2020
Court is expected to be honored for her contributions to the sport when Team Australia hosts the Australian Open beginning Jan. 20. Here in the U.S., Mosier will compete in the Olympic trials later that same week, Jan. 25.