Tennis legend Margaret Court has made some more controversial statements weeks before she is to be recognized at the Australian Open on the 50th anniversary of her Grand Slam run. Court had earlier demanded that Tennis Australia recognize her achievements in the same way that they celebrated the 50th anniversary of Rod Laver's Grand Slam run earlier this year.
Tennis Australia agreed to recognize but not celebrate her achievements due to her strong religious views in recent years. According to The New Zealand Herald, in a sermon over the weekend, Court said, "Children are making the decision at seven or eight years of age to change their sex … no, just read the first two chapters of Genesis, that's all I say.
Male and female. It's so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm at that age, and they start to question 'what am I' 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.
You have got young people taking hormones and having changed, by the time they are 17 they are thinking, 'Now I'm a boy and really I was a girl' I can go on television and if I say, 'well, this is what the Bible says', well, it's like opening a can of worms.
My goodness, you've let a torpedo off or something. No, it's true, because they hate the word of God." In their statement earlier this month, Tennis Australia commented, "Tennis Australia openly condemned Court's views in November, and made it clear in an open letter they are not welcome in the sport.
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."
The court holds the all-time record for the most number of Grand Slams won by any singles player in tennis history - with 24 Grand Slam singles titles. Serena Williams is currently chasing her record and she is hoping to equal the same in Melbourne in January.
Serena has 23 Grand Slam titles and has been chasing Court's record for some time now. She has lost the Wimbledon and US Open finals in both of the last two years.