Margaret Court has dismissed backlash over her receiving Australia’s highest honour, making the unfathomable claim that she actually “loves” gay and trans people.
The disgraced tennis champion drew fierce criticism after it was revealed that she will be promoted on Australia Day to a Companion of the Order of Australia.
It is the country’s highest civilian honour and the second time Court has received such an award, despite being notorious for her extreme anti-LGBT+ views.
As several politicians openly condemned the “insensitive” decision to honour her and one trans LGBT+ advocate returned her medal in protest, Court stubbornly insisted she would be keeping hers.
“No,” Court said when asked on Melbourne radio 3AW if she would return the award. “Because I loved representing my nation.
“When I got my AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) it was for my community outreach area, where we put out 75 tonnes of food a week. This [latest award] was for my tennis and I think it was a long time coming and I’m very honoured… We did nothing but play for our nation.”
She went on to deny that she held homophobic views, claiming her previous comments had been misrepresented by the media.
“I’ve always said what the Bible says. I don’t hate anybody. I love people, and I love gay people and transgender people, and we get them into our community services. We never turn anybody away,” she said.
“A lot of things were said which I never really said, which I think was the sad part. I’ve been bullied a lot in the last few years, and I don’t mind. That’s alright. But if I say anything, then [they say] I’m a bigot and I’m everything else, and I don’t like that.”
This apparent attempt to overwrite her anti-LGBT+ record was somewhat undermined by the fact that she also used the interview to reiterate her views that being gay was a choice and can be cured.
But in any case, Margaret Court has provided ample examples of her homophobic hatred over the years, including calling homosexuality an “abominable sexual practice”, likening gay people to Hitler, claiming lesbian tennis players “recruit” younger athletes and suggesting that transgender children are “of the devil”.