Martina Navratilova has condemned comments made by Aussie tennis legend Margaret Court due to her controversial stance on lesbian tennis players and transgender children.
The Czech icon penned a scathing open letter to the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, urging them to change their name in response to the recent furore.
74-year-old Court, who is now a church pastor, revealed in an outspoken interview that she believed transgender children were the “work of the devil”.
Speaking with Vision Christian Radio, she went on to say that: “Tennis is full of lesbians, because even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led took young ones into parties and things.
“And you know, what you get at the top is often what you get right through the sport.”
Asked about transgender children, she said: “That’s all the devil… but that’s what Hitler did and that’s what communism did - got the mind of the children.
“And there’s a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world, to get in the minds of the children.”
Court had also previously stated that she avoided using Australian airline Qantas “where possible” in protest of the company’s support for same-sex marriage.
Navratilova is leading calls for the Margaret Court Arena, which is used in the Australian Open, to be renamed after another Australian great Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
In her letter addressed to Margaret Court Arena, she wrote: “Linking LGBT to nazis, communists, the devil? This is not OK.
“This is in fact sick and it is dangerous. Kids will suffer more because of this continuous bashing and stigmatising of our LGBT community.
“It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player and a racist and a homophobe.
“The platform people like Margaret Court use needs to be made smaller, not bigger.
“Which is why I think it’s time to change your name. And I think the Evonne Goolagong Cawley Arena has a great ring to it.
“Now there is a person we can all celebrate.”
The racism allegation referred to Court’s comments about Apartheid in 1970, when she said: “South Africans have this thing better organised than any other country.”
In 1990, Court also said that Navratilova was a poor role model for young tennis players because of her homosexuality.
Navratilova’s letter was published by Australia’s Fairfax newspaper.
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