Margaret Court has claimed she’s being bullied for her beliefs on marriage equality and singled out Channel Ten’s The Project for criticism over an interview last week.
The Australian tennis legend and Christian pastor sparked a furore on Friday when she announced she would stop flying Qantas “where possible” in protest of the airline’s advocacy for same-sex marriage.
Court told Sky News on Monday: “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.
“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.
“This is a Judeo-Christian nation and I believe we should protect marriage.”
Court also complained of how she was treated in an interview with Channel 10 program The Project on Friday.
“I think that was disgusting, actually, the way they did not let me speak,” she said.
“They didn’t want to hear what I had to say. All they wanted was for people to hear what they had to say.”
In the interview, Margaret disputed polling showing between 62 and 64 percent of Australians support marriage equality.
“You have your statistics but our statistics are not like that, and if people read the first two chapters of the Bible they’ll understand why I believe a child should have a mother and a father,” she said.
— #TheProjectTV (@theprojecttv) May 26, 2017
Earlier, Tennis Australia and the operators of Melbourne and Olympic Parks distanced themselves from Court’s comments about her Qantas boycott.
“Melbourne & Olympic Parks does not support Margaret Court’s comments and we remain an organisation committed to embracing equality, diversity and inclusion,” they tweeted.
Other tennis stars also disagreed, with Casey Dellacqua tweeting “Enough is enough” alongside a letter to the editor Court had written criticising her family.
Grand slam champion Samantha Stosur stood by Dellacqua and suggested some players may boycott the Arena at the Australian Open next year.
“I think everyone can have their own opinion. I don’t agree with Margaret’s opinion,” Stosur told AAP at the French Open.
“That’s why Casey was, obviously, very adamant about that and I wanted to support my friend.
“I think we definitely should have [marriage equality] in Australia.”
Martina Navratilova tweeted last week that Court “has been attacking our LGBT community for decades” and joined calls for her name to be removed from Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena.
But Court said she had earned the right to have the stadium named after her.
“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,” she said.