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.”
Simona Halep confident she can cope with weather as she prepares for French Open
Halep is the top seed and title favourite.
Andy Murray finds humour in French Open rematch with Stan Wawrinka
Murray is playing at Roland Garros for the first time since a brutal semi-final against Wawrinka in 2017.
Q&A with tennis legend Chris Evert as she picks her French Open winners
Eurosport tennis expert and seven-time Roland-Garros champion Chris Evert has previewed the upcoming Roland Garros
John McEnroe on the challenges of playing on the red clay as he picks a French Open winner
John McEnroe believes Rafael Nadal will face fresh challenges in at the French Open this summer
Roland Garros sees fan numbers slashed to just 1,000 per day due to coronavirus spike
French Open succumbs to Covid-19 resurgence.
London’s O2 Arena absorbs loss of ATP Finals by hosting 2022 edition of Laver Cup
Top level tennis returning to O2.
Dominic Thiem gets nightmare Roland Garros draw with FOUR Grand Slam winners possibly awaiting him
Austrian may have to do it the hard way.
COMMENT: The sporting fates have dreamed up perfect story for Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka
What do the sporting gods have in store?
Andy Murray to play old foe Stan Wawrinka in first round of French Open
Draw throws up remarkable twist of fate.
Liam Broady thanks Andy Murray after qualifying for French Open for first time
Broady grateful to legend.