Margaret Court row set to continue after she says 'tennis is full of lesbians'

Margaret Court row set to continue after she says 'tennis is full of lesbians'

The row surrounding Margaret Court's views on homosexuality is set to escalate after the Australian gave another interview saying tennis is full of lesbians and that transgender people are influenced by the devil.

A number of tennis players have condemned Court's views since she announced last week she would be boycotting Australian airline Qantas because of its chief executive's support for same-sex marriage.

One of the main show courts at the Australian Open is named after Court, who won a record 24 grand slam singles titles in the 1960s and 70s.

Martina Navratilova has been among those to call for it to be renamed, while Australian number one Sam Stosur said players could choose to boycott the court at next year's tournament.

Court's latest comments are sure to cause outrage, with the 74-year-old, who is now a Christian pastor, speaking out on Vision Christian Radio.

She accused gay players within tennis of trying to influence others, saying: "Tennis is full of lesbians.

"Even when I was playing there were only a couple there but those couple that led took young ones into parties. And what you get at the top is often what you'll get right through that sport."

Court's most inflammatory comments were about transgender issues.

She said: "You can think, 'Oh, I'm a boy', and it will affect your emotions and feelings and everything else. That's all the devil.

"That's what Hitler did and that's what communism did, got the minds of the children. There's a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children."

Court, who preaches at the Victory Life Centre, the church she founded in Perth, said she wanted to help homosexuals.

"We're there to help them (gay people) overcome," she said. "We're not against the people."

Andy Murray voiced his support for gay marriage after his first-round win over Andrey Kuznetsov at the French Open but cautioned against a boycott.

The world number one said: ''I don't see why anyone has a problem with two people who love each other getting married.

''If it's two men, two women, that's great. I don't see why it should matter. It's not anyone else's business. Everyone, in my opinion, should have the same rights. I don't agree with that (Court's stance).

''If something was to be done, I think it would be a lot more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts.

''For players to be in a position where you're in a slam and boycotting playing on the court, I think would potentially cause a lot of issues.

''So I think if something was going to be happen and the players come to an agreement, if they think the name should be changed or whatever, that should be decided before the event starts.

''But I would imagine a lot of the players would be pretty offended. So we'll see what happens.''

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