Court, the 11-times Australian Open champion may be one of the greats of the game, but her anti-gay views have turned many against her.
Ordained as a Pentecostal minister in 1991, 16 years after she had retired as a player, the Australian has often spoken out about same-sex marriage.
A week ago she announced that she would “where possible” refuse to fly with Qantas because the airline’s boss supports same-sex marriage.
That led to some players, including Martina Navratilova, demanding that the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park be renamed while others, such as Sam Stosur, are calling for players to boycott the arena at the next Australian Open.
After his 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 French Open first-round win over Andrey Kuznetsov Murray, who was coached by the openly gay Amelie Mauresmo until a year ago, sounded more mystified than angry that Court could hold such views. The Scot said: “I don’t see why anyone has a problem with two people who love each other getting married. If it’s two men, two women, that’s great. I don’t see why it should matter. It’s not anyone else’s business. Everyone should have, in my opinion, should have the same rights. And, yeah, that’s my view on it. I don’t agree with that [Court’s opinion].”
Murray is a member of the ATP’s 12-man Player Council and is there to represent the views and opinions of the world’s top 50. Happy to voice his own thoughts about gay marriage, he stopped short of backing a boycott of the Margaret Court Arena – although his reservations were for logistical reasons rather than moral ones.
“If something was to be done, I think it would be a lot more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts,” he said. “I think for players to be in a position where you’re in a grand slam and kind of boycotting playing on the court, I think would potentially cause a lot of issues.
“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.
“But, yeah, I would imagine a lot of the players would be, you know, pretty offended by [Court’s views]. So, yeah, we’ll see what happens.”