Murray, others speak against Court’s stance on gay marriage
PARIS (AP) — Andy Murray joined other current players in rejecting tennis great Margaret Court’s recent public stance against same-sex marriage.
The topic has generated discussion at the French Open — including about whether the Australian Open stadium that honors Court should have its name changed. There was also talk about whether a protest of some sort could take place in connection with that Grand Slam tournament next year.
“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,” the No. 1-ranked Murray said Tuesday after winning his first-round match at Roland Garros. “Everyone should have, in my opinion ... the same rights.”
Court is an Australian who won a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles in the 1960s and 1970s and is now a Christian pastor. In a letter published in The West Australian newspaper, Court wrote that she would stop flying Qantas “where possible” because the Australian airline “has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage.”
The 74-year-old Court has been a critic of homosexuality for decades.
“Obviously, she’s a legend of the sport for Australia,” said Thanasi Kokkinakis, an Australian player. “But I don’t agree with what she said.”
Sam Stosur, an Australian who won the 2011 U.S. Open, said: “I think everyone can have their opinion. I don’t agree with it. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we all get down to the Australian Open next year — and who wants to play on Margaret Court Arena and who doesn’t. And we’ll go from there.”
Asked about the prospect of players refusing to play in that stadium during the first Grand Slam tournament of 2018, Britain’s Murray said he thought it “would be a lot more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts.”
“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,” the three-time major champion said. “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.”
Murray added: “I would imagine a lot of the players would be pretty offended” by what Court said, “so we’ll see what happens.”
Madison Keys, an American player, said that she disagrees “100 percent” with Court’s comments.
“I kind of agree with maybe having the (Australian Open stadium’s) name changed and all of that. If that comes up, I’m sure there’s many people who would be for that,” Keys said after her win Tuesday.
“It’s like, ‘Why can’t we just be nice to each other?’” Keys said. “So frustrating.”
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis