Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour served up a fierce speech at an Australian Open event Thursday, when she joined calls for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed because of the tennis legend’s views on homosexuality.
“I find that it is inconsistent with the sport for Margaret Court’s name to be on a stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences,” Wintour said in her keynote speech at the Australian Open’s Inspirational Series in Melbourne on Thursday, according to CNN affiliate Nine News.
The Margaret Court Arena, home of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, was named after Court in 2003, honoring her as one of the most successful players of all time, having notched a record-breaking 24 major titles in a career that spanned the 1960s and 70s.
Court, now a Pentecostal pastor in Western Australia, has come under heavy criticism for her anti-LGBTQ comments.
In May 2017, she said she would boycott Qantas Airlines for its decision to support same-sex marriage. “I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage. I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible,” Court said in an open letter published in The Western Australian.
Not long after, Court claimed that tennis was “full of lesbians” while speaking to Vision Christian Radio.
“I mean, tennis is full of lesbians because even when I was playing there was only a couple there but those couple that lead … took young ones into parties and things,” she said. “And because they liked to be around heroes and what you get at the top is often what you will get right through that sport.”
In response to her comments, tennis star Martina Navratilova urged Tennis Australia to take action by renaming the Margaret Court Arena, calling Court a “racist and a homophobe.”
US tennis legend Billie Jean King has also called for the 7,500-seat arena to be renamed. “I was fine until she said lately so many derogatory things about my community. I’m a gay woman … that really went deep in my heart and soul,” King said.
Speaking in Melbourne on Thursday, Wintour, who has helmed the iconic fashion magazine since 1988, said that “intolerance has no place in tennis.”
“Margaret Court was a champion on the court but a meeting point for players of all nations, preferences, and backgrounds should celebrate somebody who was a champion off the court as well,” she said, according to ABC.
Wintour also criticized Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who had proposed amending a law that would allow religious schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students. The proposal was later abandoned.
“I have been alarmed by your prime minister’s record on LGBTQ rights, which seems backward in all senses,” she said, according to CNN affiliate Nine News.