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Debate intensifies over Margaret Court Arena

Fresh calls have emerged for tennis legend Margaret Court’s name to be removed from an Australian Open venue because of her views on same-sex marriage.

Court holds the record for the most grand slam tournaments won by a single player (24) and the 7,500-seat Margaret Court Arena was renamed in her honour in 2003.

In May 2017, Court said she would stop using the Qantas airline due to its promotion of same-sex marriage. She was quoted at the time as saying: “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. Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling.”

A number of players have previously suggested a boycott of the arena and Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue magazine and a big tennis fan, has now called for the venue to be renamed.

“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, according to the Associated Press news agency. “This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game. Intolerance has no place in tennis.”

Margaret Court Arena is the second show court at the Australian Open, with the 14,000-seat Rod Laver Arena serving as the tournament’s main venue.

This year’s Australian Open concludes at the weekend.

Image: DestinationAlan