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Anti-LGBTQ Margaret Court: Anna Wintour's Critique Is 'Saddest Thing'

Margaret Court, Anna Wintour

The tennis champ and renowned homophobe clapped back at Wintour's call for a name change to Australia's Margaret Court Arena. 

The call to remove Australian tennis champion Margaret Court's name from a Melbourne arena has gone on for years as she's continued to be vocal about her anti-LGBTQ views. This week, at the Australian Open's Inspirational Series, Vogue's Anna Wintour reiterated that name of Margaret Court Arena should be changed. Now Court has responded, playing into nationalism in order to chide Wintour.

"The saddest thing is someone coming from America and telling us in this nation what to do," Court told The West Australian.

"I've loved my nation, played for my nation. There's probably no one who has been more supportive of, or spoke more highly of, the game of tennis," she continued.

The 24-time Grand Slam winner was responding to Wintour's comments earlier this week when she noted that a place like Margaret Court Arena that welcomes people of all "nations, preferences and backgrounds" should not be named for someone who is intolerant of LGBTQ people.

"I find that it is inconsistent for the sport for Margaret Court's name to be on the stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences," Wintour said. "This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game. Intolerance has no place in tennis."

Court was a vocal opponent of marriage equality leading up to the vote in Australia in late 2017, and she often said she felt she had been marginalized because of her stance.

"[LGBTQ people] Want marriage because they want to destroy it. There will be no Mother's Day, there will be no Father's Day, there will be no Easter, there will be no Christmas," Court said leading up to the vote.

She also said on a Christian radio show in 2017 that tennis is full of predatory lesbians attempting to woo young women. Regarding transgender people, she said, "That's all the devil."

"I think there will be a price to pay for it in the future in the nation, and people will see it's not about marriage," Court said after the marriage vote. "There will be a genderless generation."

In early 2018, Billie Jean King, who previously championed her onetime on-court rival, also called for a name change to the arena.

"I personally don't think she should have [her name on the stadium] anymore," King said.

"It's really important if you're going to have your name on anything that you're hospitable, you're inclusive, you open your arms to everyone that comes. It's a public facility," King added.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist