Battle of the Sexes Actress Who Plays Margaret Court Responds to Controversy

Recently, Australian tennis legend Margaret Court caused a storm of controversy by making anti-LGBT remarks.

Court, who is now a 74-year-old Christian minister, came out against same-sex marriage, which is under debate in Australia, and said transgender children were brainwashed with techniques similiar to those used by Nazi Germany and devil worshippers.

"That's all the devil. But that's what Hitler did and that's what Communism did — got the minds of the children. And there's a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children," Court said.

The comments caused an uproar in the tennis world. Out athlete Martina Navratilova denounced Court's latest hateful tirade and called for a stadium named in Court's honor to drop her name. 

"It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and a racist and a homophobe," Navratilova wrote in an open letter to the operators of Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena, which hosts matches for the Australian Open. The letter appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald. "Her vitriol is not just an opinion. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights; note to Court: we are human beings, too. She is demonising trans kids and trans adults everywhere."

Some players are considering calling for a boycott of the upcoming Australian Open if this demand is not met.

At a recent Pride fundraiser for GLSEN — an organization that supports LGBT students — Battle of the Sexes actress Jessica McNamee, who portrays Court in the upcoming HBO Billie Jean King biopic starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, offered her take on the controversy.

"Look, I obviously have very different beliefs from her. I certainly support marriage equality. I’ve got a lot of friends that I think deserve to be married and currently cannot in Australia. So, I very much have different beliefs than her," McNamee said Sunday at the Los Angeles event.

"As far as changing the name of the court … I actually spoke to Billie Jean King recently, a couple days ago. I guess I mimic her sentiment in that she has a right to freedom of speech,  and I don’t necessarily think that the name needs to be changed. Essentially, you know she was awarded that exclusively for her tennis; you can’t deny that she was the best female tennis player of her time. But yeah, I definitely have strongly different beliefs than her."

READER COMMENTS ()