Martina Navratilova tweeted yesterday accusing Margaret Court of “hiding behind her Bible” and calling her “pathetic in every way.” The tweets come after Court attacked LGBTIQ people in her Sunday sermon in Perth, specifically taking aim at the trans community.
Court last year argued for Tennis Australia to mark the 50th anniversary of her grand slam at February’s Australian Open. Tennis Australia decided on a formula of recognising but not celebrating the anniversary. That resulted from Court’s previous controversial comments on LGBTIQ people and same-sex marriage.
Martina Navratilova’s past comments
Martina Navratilova herself faced accusations of transphobia last year after she described trans athletes competing in women’s sports as “cheating.”
“It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”
However, she later took part in a documentary called The Trans Women Athlete Dispute With Martina Navratilova. She then said she now had greater sympathy for trans women athletes and apologised for the using the word ‘cheating’.
During the filming of the documentary, she said she had learnt from the experience.
“What I have come to realise, the biggest thing for me, is just the level of difficulty trans people go through cannot be underestimated.
“The fight for equality and recognition is just huge.
“I hurt people with my comments – that bothers me. I campaigned all my life for LGBT rights.”
She also spoke of a way forward in the debate over the rights of trans athletes to compete in women’s sport.
“The most important thing in sports – and we have to remember trans rights and elite sport are two different things, although of course they are connected – what’s the right way to set the rules so that everybody feels like they have a fighting chance?”
Martina Navratilova and Margaret Court both attending the Australian Open
Martina Navratilova will also attend the Australian Open in Melbourne in February.
It’s outrageous and so wrong. We don’t need to change or re- write history when it comes to anyone’s accomplishments but we do not need to celebrate them. Margaret Court is hiding behind her Bible as many have done before her and will do after her. Let’s not keep elevating it
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) 2019(e)ko abenduaren 31(a)
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