Martina Navratilova apologises for Margaret Court protest, but ‘stands by’ reasons for it
Martina Navratilova has apologised – sort of – for her protest against the name of Margaret Court arena after a slap on the wrist from Tennis Australia.
The hall of famer commandeered an umpire’s chair and carried a banner, along with John McEnroe, saying ‘Evonne Goolagong Arena’ in the stadium that carries Court’s name at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.
It was a protest borne of Court’s controversial views against marriage equality and the trans community.
However, Tennis Australia released a statement criticising the ‘two high profile guests’ for breaching their security protocols, prompting Navratilova to respond.
“I got in trouble. I am sorry I broke protocol. I had no idea there was this kind of protocol,” Navratilova told the Tennis Channel.
Martina #Navratilova makes a statement about changing the name of #MargaretCourt Arena after her legends doubles match on that court. Tennis Australia cuts off the feed to @Eurosport. Let’s share her message here.#AusOpen #AusOpen2020 #LGBT pic.twitter.com/ZdI92ZS6Za
— Kevin Chang 🌏⚖️ (@KevinCChang) January 28, 2020
“Had I known, I would have done it differently but I would still have tried to make my statement which is basically: you name buildings after not what people just did on the court but also off the court, the whole body of work.
“And so I said my piece. You can read my whole statement. I stand by that. But I do apologise about breaking protocol. I did not mean to do that.”
Navratilova’s original statement read: “When airports, buildings, streets or stadiums are named after particular people, it is done, or at least should be done, to honour exceptional human beings — our heroes.
“Think Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Rosa Parks. Would it not be appropriate if the Staples Center were renamed as a tribute to Kobe Bryant
“Such luminaries excelled in their fields and transcended them; they made a positive contribution to mankind; they led by example. And, perhaps most of all, they were on the right side of history.
“But Margaret Court does not belong in that company or category. Nobody disputes her achievements on the tennis court, and her place in the sport’s history remains as distinguished as it gets.
“So, it pains me to say this but Margaret Court Arena must be renamed.
“As a worthy replacement, my vote goes to Evonne Goolagong. Evonne is the embodiment of what a role model or hero truly is.”
Heather Watson inspired by Andy Murray as she makes quarter-finals in Birmingham
The British number two was leading when Zhang Shuai retired from their match due to a leg injury.
Roger Federer is beaten on grass as his Wimbledon hopes take a hit
Federer’s hopes of a lengthy run in the Halle grass court event came to an end as he was beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Cameron Norrie beats Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev at Queen’s
Norrie is through to the last eight at Queen’s Club for the first time.
Wimbledon to open its doors to the public and here is how you get tickets
The 2021 tournament is set to get under way on June 28 at the All England Club.
Andy Murray receives Wimbledon wild card with preparations in full swing
Murray will play singles at the All England Club for the first time since 2017.
Andy Murray gets Wimbledon wildcard as rising British star is also rewarded
Andy Murray has been announced as one of the initial recipients of a Wimbledon wild card, along with fellow Brit Jack Draper.
Wimbledon confirm Naomi Osaka has yet to withdraw from this year’s Championships
Wimbledon chiefs have confirmed that Naomi Osaka is still entered into the draw for this year’s Championships.
Andy Murray braced for tough time watching Scotland game in all-English bubble
The former world number one will be with his coaching staff at Queen’s when the two countries face off at Euro 2020.
Andy Murray preparing for a tough night when Scotland play England in Euro 2020
Andy Murray is fearing a “tough” experience when he watches Scotland’s Euro 2020 clash with England on Friday.
Exclusive – Judy Murray urges tennis chiefs to provide mental health aid to all players after Naomi Osaka incident
Judy Murray believes game should do more to support players.