Tennis legend Margaret Court has added fuel to her anti-gay controversy by claiming “tennis is full of lesbians” and transgender children are the work of “the devil.”
The 74-year-old Court, who won 24 Grand Slam events in her amazing career, made the comments on 20Twenty Vision Christian Radio.
“I mean, tennis is full of lesbians, because even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led took young ones into parties and things,” said Court, now a Christian pastor. “And you know, what you get at the top is often what you’ll get right through that sport.”
She insisted she was not against gay people, but wanted to help them.
“We’re there to help them overcome. We’re not against the people,” she said. “They’re human beings and 92 percent, they say in America, have either been abused in some form sexually or emotionally at an early age for them to even be this way.”
Asked about transgender children, she claimed their minds had been corrupted and it was the work of the devil.
“But with the literature, the bullying, the stuff that’s put out today into children’s minds, I tell you what, if you haven’t got parents who bring you up that way and you’ve got parents that don’t care and you’re hurt and offended in somebody saying something to you,” Court said.
“I tell you, a child can just start to think ‘Well, maybe I am a girl’ when they’re a boy or and maybe ‘I’m a boy and I’m a girl.’ Your thoughts — even medically they’re knowing now — the mind is a battlefield and that’s why I wrote that book ‘Train Your Brain’ because the mind is, it’s all in the Bible.
“God’s got so much in there about the mind how it affects us, affects our emotions, our feelings, you can think ‘Oh I’m a boy’ and it’ll affect your emotions and feelings, and everything else and so that’s all the devil. That’s what Hitler did, that’s what Communism did — got the mind of the children. And it’s a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.”
Court sparked a fierce backlash last week after announcing she would stop flying Qantas “where possible” in protest at the airline’s support of same-sex marriage.
Wimbledon legend Martina Navratilova led calls — supported by Richel Hogenkamp, one of the few openly gay players in tennis — for the Australian Open to take Court’s name off one of its flagship stadiums.
Andy Murray has also taken aim at Court for her anti-gay comments when he was interviewed at the French Open in Paris.
Court has long held strong views about homosexuality, which have previously been slammed by Navratilova and fellow great Billie Jean King, who are both gay.
Navratilova and others have called for her name to be stripped from the arena at Melbourne Park, where the first Grand Slam event of the year is held annually. There have also been rumors about players boycotting the court.
“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,” Murray said Tuesday at the French Open. “So I think if something was going to be happening and the players come to an agreement, if they think the name should be changed or whatever, that should be decided before the event, before the event starts.”
Tennis Australia and the operator of the Margaret Court Arena have distanced themselves from Court’s same-sex marriage stance.