Tennis Australia has invited anti-LGBT legend of the game Margaret Court to the country’s prestigious Open tournament in January, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her grand slam sweep in 1970, which saw her becoming only the second woman to win the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same calendar year.
Court, who has accepted the invitation, is a Christian and has caused controversy in past years with homophobic comments which have angered numerous fellow tennis professionals, including legendary lesbian players Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.
Explaining its decision, Tennis Australia said in a statement: “Tennis Australia respects Margaret’s unmatched tennis career and welcomes her to the Australian Open, particularly in this milestone anniversary year.
“As often stated, Tennis Australia does not agree with Margaret’s personal views, which have demeaned and hurt many in our community over a number of years. They do not align with our values of equality, diversity and inclusion.
“Our sport welcomes everyone, no matter what gender, ability, race, religion or sexuality, and we will continue to actively promote inclusion initiatives widely at all levels of the sport.”
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