Australian tennis star Casey Dellacqua has stood up for her family and spoken out against tennis legend Margaret Court’s stance against marriage equality, as more of Court’s “hateful and ignorant” comments surface.
Dellacqua, who has two young children with former touch football player Amanda Judd, said she could no longer ignore Court’s views after her family was the subject of a letter to the editor written by Court in 2013.
The tennis legend and now Christian pastor wrote that she had nothing against the couple, but lamented the birth of their son “seemingly deprived of his father.”
Dellacqua tweeted the letter last week and wrote “Margaret. Enough is Enough.”
“I don’t really do interviews in regard to that. But I just felt like it was time for me to speak up,” the 32-year-old told reporters at the French Open on Wednesday.
“I will say back in 2013 that was when she wrote about me but it was a really happy time in my life, the birth of our first child.
“I read the article and I left it alone. I thought, you know what, it’s not worth responding to.
“But then obviously more and more stuff just keeps coming out and… that’s why the tweet said ‘Enough.’ Because it is, it’s just enough.”
Despite being deeply hurt, Dellacqua said she let the letter go and refused to let it ruin her happiness.
“I’m fine but I’m very conscious of the fact that everyone is allowed their opinion. But when you start singling out my family especially, that’s when it’s not okay,” she said.
“And my family do not deserve to be subjected to that. She can have her opinion but my family does not deserve that.”
Meanwhile, Court has attracted fresh criticism for shocking anti-gay comments she made during an interview this week with Vision Christian Radio.
In the interview, she said she wants to help gay people but likened LGBTI equality campaigners to Nazis, claimed gender diversity was “all the devil”, and dismissed marriage equality polls showing majority support as “very, very wrong”.
She also said tennis “is full of lesbians,” and the few lesbian players she knew during her career in the 1960s and 70s “took the young ones to parties and things”.
NSW Central Coast Anglican Archdeacon, the Venerable Rod Bower, said the vast majority of Australian Christians would be appalled at Court’s comments.
“Comments like those from Margaret Court are why I so strongly opposed a [marriage equality] plebiscite. We would have had people on street corners shouting these hateful and ignorant messages,” he said.
“It would have caused untold harm.”
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of civil rights group the Anti-Defamation Commission, said linking marriage equality campaigners to Nazism and the Holocaust is “profoundly offensive, betrays an utter lack of understanding of the historical truth and only fans the flames of hatred and demonisation”.
He called on Court to apologise for the “appalling rhetoric”.
“This absolute lack of compassion also insults the memory of the victims, which included gay people, as well as survivors and all those Diggers who fought against the Nazis,” he said.
(Dellacqua photo by David Iliff/Wikimedia Commons)