Australian tennis great Margaret Court feels bullied by a dramatic response to her views on gay marriage, but has vouched that she will not be intimidated.
The 24-time Grand Slam champion caused a huge controversy following her comments that she would stop flying Qantas “where possible” in protest at the airline’s support of same-sex marriage.
Players like Martina Navratilova and Richel Hogenkamp, who are the few openly gay players in tennis said that Australian Open should take her name off one of its flagship stadiums.
Court in reply said that she had the right to air her views. “I think it’s bullying. I think they always said that we were bullying them but I think there’s a lot of bullying gone on, intimidation,” she told Sky News.
“I think everybody has their views. I have nothing against gay people and you know we have them in our church and I help them.”
“(But) this is a Judaeo-Christian nation and I believe we should protect marriage.”
Court has opposed homosexuality for a long time, which have previously been slammed by Navratilova and fellow great Billie Jean King, who are both gay.
“I’m not intimidated because I know who I am, I love family and I just stand up for righteousness and truth,” Court said.
Court also said that she had earned the right to have the stadium named after her.
“They try to bring my past into it, I think it is very sad,” she said. “I think it’s something I deserved. I loved representing my nation, playing for my nation ... I’ve earned those honours and accolades and awards.”