FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Margaret Court and Same-Sex Woes

Sports people are the show ponies of life, modern gladiators whose opinions should only be relevant to their field of endeavour.  The end of the amateur, and the rise of the professional put pay to the rounded dabbler and dilettante, ably educated yet still committed to a sporting pursuit.  The professional sports individual is tasked with endurance and performance as a sole domain, and opinions, notably of a political or sexual kind, would tend to be private matters. Often, they would best remain that way.

Not so Margaret Court, one of the most successful tennis players of all time, who forgot herself when she decided that her opinions seemed to be the stuff of gold, valued because she had done something with ball and racket.

Her mouth was loosened by the stance taken by the Australian airliner Qantas that it would support same sex marriage.  “I am disappointed,” she fumed, “that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage.”[1]  Marriage, she believed could only ever be a “union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.”

Those familiar with Court’s post-tennis life would be unsurprised by the fervour of her views.  Her period of retirement did not begin well: she endured “feelings of uselessness, inferiority, unworthiness.”  Jesus became her saviour. She became a Pentecostal pastor, going so far as to found her own church in Perth.[2] She then proceeded to make her personal crisis a public, moral one.

Her mashed views form the typical potpourri of hysteria, outpourings of fear on the fringes. Dressed up as opinion, she has taken to public forums to explain that homosexuality is the stuff of illness, and that compassion needed to be shown for sufferers.  On 20Twenty Vision Christian Radio, the collective “we” was used to describe what was less an attitude than a priestly instruction fanned by fire.  “We’re there to help them (gay people) overcome.  We’re not against the people.”[3]

Court’s statistics and readings have been reactionary in their inventiveness, showing that mastering a tennis court might be a touch easier than mastering literature or any specialist field.  Religiosity is bound to burn the evidence before the sermon.  “They’re human beings and 92 percent, they say in America, have either been abused in some form sexually or emotionally at an early age for them to even be this way.”[4]

The “they”, of course, remains unspecified, a glutinous, unspecified wonder of darkness that risks enveloping the world.  And for good reason, she suggests: tennis, after all, is teaming with corrupting lesbians.

It is a claim she had made in 1990, suggesting that the structure of women’s tennis was a conspiratorial affair of Lesbos.  Players such as the formidable Martina Navratilova were singled out as poor role models.  Playing at the back of Court’s mind may well have been the ending of her grand slam singles career by the Czech in the quarters of the US Open.

Far more recently, Court has attacked the union of Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua and former touch football champion Amanda Judd for depriving their children of a father. “I simply want to champion the rights of the family over the rights of the individual to engineer social norms and produce children into their relationships.”

Court certainly has firm views of those she sees as indoctrinators: homosexual activists, keen to spread the same-sex gospel like storm troopers. “That’s all the devil… but that’s what Hitler did and that’s what communism did – got the mind of the children.  And there’s a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world to get the minds of children.”  Distressing onspiracies abound in that Pentecostal mind.

That neither Hitler nor many a Communist politbureaucrat had little time for policies protecting sexual choice was obviously sidestepped by the Court process of conversion.  As did the cruel omission that hetero manic totalitarianism did its best to rid humanity of homosexuals.  Court has no desire to let the young minds she speaks of with such conviction learn that part of the curriculum.

These outbursts also tend to have a haunting effect: what is good for the indignant goose is certainly appropriate for the agitated gander. Tennis players have decided to wade in, showing that they have their own opinions we must all be subjected to.  The currently ranked world number one Andy Murray, for one, decided that sexual orientation was no one’s business.  “Everyone should have, in my opinion, the same rights. And, yeah, that’s my view on it.”[5]

There are even suggestions by such players as Samantha Stosur that the Margaret Court Arena be boycotted during the Australian Open.  Murray, no doubt concerned that his wallet might be damaged, prefers to avoid the sledgehammer approach of a boycott.  “If something is to be done, I think it would be more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts.”[6] Now that is far more representative: a true tennis player keen on keeping to schedule and listening to the sound of money coming in.

 

Notes. 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/25/margaret-court-vows-to-stop-flying-qantas-over-marriage-equality-stance

[2] https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2009/december/1295831572/shane-maloney/margaret-court-and-martina-navratilova

[3] https://thewest.com.au/news/australia/margaret-court-says-tennis-is-full-of-lesbians-ng-b88493166z

[4] https://thewest.com.au/news/australia/margaret-court-says-tennis-is-full-of-lesbians-ng-b88493166z

[5] https://thewest.com.au/sport/tennis/it-was-time-for-us-to-stand-up-tennis-players-condemn-margaret-courts-same-sex-stance-ng-b88492477z

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/31/andy-murray-ramps-up-pressure-with-call-for-swift-resolution-to-margaret-court-furore

More articles by:

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rothstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail