Sport 'I suggest Billie Jean check her facts': Barry Court defends wife

16:26  14 january  2018
16:26  14 january  2018 Source:   WAtoday

No talk of boycott at Margaret Court Arena

  No talk of boycott at Margaret Court Arena Nick Kyrgios says he will try to "block out" Margaret Court's views on sexuality if he plays on her namesake court at the Australian Open. Margaret Court's controversial views remain a talking point at Melbourne Park but leading players have shied away from suggestions of a boycott at her namesake arena.Tennis trailblazer Billie Jean King on Friday used the occasion of being named Australian Open woman of the year to call for the renaming of Margaret Court Arena.

" I suggest Billie Jean first check her facts before making allegations against my wife ," Mr Court wrote. "We have reputable sources review all her press releases and interviews and cannot trace these remarks back to Margaret."

" I suggest Billie Jean first check her facts before making allegations against my wife ," Mr Court wrote. "We have reputable sources review all her press releases and interviews and cannot trace these remarks back to Margaret."

Billie Jean King (left) said she had hoped Margaret Court (right) would attend the Australian Open this year so the pair could have a discussion about the issue.© Clive Mackinnon Billie Jean King (left) said she had hoped Margaret Court (right) would attend the Australian Open this year so the pair could have a discussion about the issue. The husband of Margaret Court has defended his wife against comments made by US tennis legend Billie Jean King on Saturday, echoing calls to rename Margaret Court Arena because of her controversial comments on same-sex marriage.

Margaret Court, a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage, has received backlash over a number of her comments.

Last year she announced she would boycott Qantas, following chief executive Alan Joyce's support for same-sex marriage.

King wants Margaret Court Arena renamed

  King wants Margaret Court Arena renamed Former champion and all-time tennis great Billie Jean King has called for the renaming of Margaret Court Arena.Tennis trailblazer Billie Jean King has called for a renaming of Margaret Court Arena due to the Australian legend's divisive views on sexuality.

" I suggest Billie Jean first check her facts before making allegations against my wife ," Mr Court wrote. "We have reputable sources review all her press releases and interviews and cannot trace these remarks back to Margaret."

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In an interview on Vision Christian Radio last year, she said transgender tendencies in children were "all the devil".

"If you feel like being a girl, you can dress like a girl," said Court in the interview.

"What confusion to a child. I get confused talking about it. You can think, 'I'm a boy', and it affects your emotions and feelings and everything else. That's all the devil."

Court, who amassed 64 grand slam titles in her tennis career, is now a Pentacostal minister at Victory Life Centre Church.

Comment: Margaret Court boycotts Australian Open. Will anyone boycott her arena?

  Comment: Margaret Court boycotts Australian Open. Will anyone boycott her arena? Margaret Court is a great Australian tennis champion and skipping this year’s Australian Open. Margaret Court is a great Australian tennis champion and skipping this year’s Australian Open.

The winner of ‘Battle of Sexes,’ a victory Billie Jean won for all women. Here are 47 facts about the tennis player Her early tennis lesson was in the free public court in Long Beach. King successfully defended her Wimbledon title in 1967, defeating Adrianne Haydon 6-3, 6-4 in the finals.

{{:: 'cloud_flare_always_on_short_message' | i 18n }} Check @genius for updates. Billie Jean Lyrics. [Verse 1] She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene I said, "Don't mind, but what do you mean, I am the one Who will dance on the floor in the round?"

On Saturday, King, who was twice crowned as Australian Open champion, changed her stance on the issue and joined calls to change the name of Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.

"I was fine until lately, she says so many derogatory things about my community," the openly gay 74-year-old said.

"I personally don't think she should have her name [on the arena] any more. If you were talking about Indigenous people, Jews or any other people, I can't imagine the public would want someone to have their name on something."

King said she would refuse to play there if she was still on tour because of comments made by Court on homosexuality.

Last year, Margaret Court announced she would boycott Qantas, following chief executive Alan Joyce's support for same-sex marriage.© AAP Image Last year, Margaret Court announced she would boycott Qantas, following chief executive Alan Joyce's support for same-sex marriage. In a letter sent to media organisations on Saturday, Mr Court said his wife "never made the statement that transgender children being of the devil [sic]" and that "there should be no thought of changing the name" of the arena.

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"I suggest Billie Jean first check her facts before making allegations against my wife," Mr Court wrote.

"We have reputable sources review all her press releases and interviews and cannot trace these remarks back to Margaret."

Margaret Court and Billie Jean King faced off against one another on the court during their careers, but had an amicable relationship outside of the sport.

"Margaret always admired Billie Jean as her number one opponent and often praised her ability," the letter said.

King said she hoped Margaret Court would be attending the Australian Open so the pair could have a discussion about the issue.

"I was looking forward to seeing her, we usually sit together ... We usually have lunch," King said.

A spokeswoman for Tennis Australia said Court had been invited to attend the Australian Open, and had told organisers she would not be attending, though she didn't say why.

In the letter, Mr Court said, "Margaret was advised not to attend the 2018 open", but did not say by whom.

"Her non-attendance was not unusual as she had four children and nine grandchildren and [is] very proud of them all and has taken the chance during the school holidays to spend [time] with her large family," Mr Court wrote.

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