John McEnroe Says Australia Should Leave Margaret Court 'In The Past Where She Belongs'
The Australian Open honoured tennis legend Margaret Court yesterday by celebrating the 50th anniversary of her winning all four grand slams.
The 77-year-old was awarded a large trophy and viewers watched a small documentary about her time on the court. She won a whopping 24 grand slams during her tennis career, the most of any woman in the sport's history.
However, her achievements have recently been overshadowed by a bunch of controversial comments that haven't sat well with some people.
One of her biggest critics is fellow tennis legend John McEnroe, who certainly didn't mince his words when he was asked about his views on Court and her place in Australia's history books.
He said on The Commissioner of Tennis: "There's only one thing longer than the list of Margaret Court's tennis achievements. It's her list of offensive and homophobic statements.
"Tennis Australia is facing a dilemma - what do they do with their crazy aunt?
"Its solution? We will recognise what she did in 1970 but we won't celebrate the person. Huh? It doesn't work that way. You can't separate the person from her achievements."
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"Please win two more Grand Slams so we can leave Margaret Court and her offensive views in the past where she belongs"
John McEnroe aka the Comissioner of Tennis is back and he's got a request for @SerenaWilliams :pray: pic.twitter.com/3TeKa8JS2B
- Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 26, 2020
"Look at me. If you recognise the fact I won seven Grand Slams, guess what? You've got to celebrate the fact that I have Jin-man.
"Serena, please win two more Slams and pass Margaret Court so we can leave Margaret Court in the past, where she belongs."
In 2012, the tennis legend made some controversial statements against openly gay tennis players Billie Jean King, Rennae Stubbs and Martina Navratilova. These comments led to calls for the name of the Margaret Court Arena to be changed.
The tennis legend continued to sour some people's image of her when she expressed her opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia during the plebiscite.
She announced she would boycott Qantas because of the company's open support for LGBTQIA+ people.
As a result of this complicated off-court controversy, it was unclear what the reaction was going to be like yesterday when Court was presented with her trophy. According to news.com.au, the crowd was largely supportive with 'generous' applause.
There was reportedly a 'quiet protest' from a man draped in a rainbow flag, but apart from that, the ceremony progressed without a hitch.
But the Australian Open and Tennis Australia have been criticised for not allowing Court to speak to the crowd after the ceremony.
Featured Image Credit: PA