Tennis legend John McEnroe slams Margaret Court for being a ‘crazy aunt’ and ‘using the Bible’ to be offensive as she is set to be honoured at the Australian Open
- John McEnroe said that Margaret Court ‘uses the Bible to say what she wants’
- His latest Commissioner of Tennis video slams Court and Tennis Australia
- Court has drawn controversy in the past for her views on marriage equality
- McEnroe pleaded with Serena Williams to beat her grand slam winning record
- It has been 50 years since Court’s 1970 grand slam where she won all four slams
- Court will be honoured before Rafael Nadal plays Nick Kyrgios on Monday night
Tennis legend John McEnroe has called Margaret Court a ‘crazy aunt’ who ‘uses the bible to say what she wants’, as she is set to be honoured at a ceremony at the Australian Open.
The 77-year-old is being honoured during the 50 year anniversary of her 1970 season, when she won all four grand slams.
Court – a Pentecostal pastor and devout Christian – has caused controversy for saying she doesn’t believe gay people should be allowed to marry because the Bible does not condone it.
Seven-time grand slam winner McEnroe slammed Court in the latest edition of his Commissioner of Tennis video series.
Tennis legend John McEnroe (pictured) has slammed Margaret Court as a ‘crazy aunt’ in his Commissioner of Tennis video series
Margaret Court watching Novak Djokovic play Diego Schwartzman at the Australian Open on Sunday
‘There’s only one thing longer than the list of Margaret Court’s tennis achievements, it’s her list of offensive and homophobic statements,’ McEnroe said.
‘Margaret Court is actually a ventriloquist using the bible as a dummy to say whatever she wants.’
McEnroe criticised Tennis Australia attempting to celebrate her achievement without celebrating her beliefs, and called out American tennis star Serena Williams to push passed Court’s record of 24 grand slam victories.
‘Serena, do me a favour: get two more Grand Slams this year and get to 25, so we can leave Margaret Court and her offensive views in the past, where they both belong,’ he said.
McEnroe is in Melbourne as part of Channel 9’s commentary team for the Australian Open. Pictured on court after Rafael Nadal’s match against Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday
Tennis Australia separated themselves from Court’s beliefs when they announced her honour ceremony at the Australian Open in a statement in November.
‘Tennis Australia respects Margaret’s unmatched tennis career and welcomes her to the Australian Open, particularly in this milestone anniversary year,’ the statement read.
‘As often stated, Tennis Australia does not agree with Margaret’s personal views, which have demeaned and hurt many in our community over a number of years.
‘They do not align with our values of equality, diversity and inclusion.
‘Our sport welcomes everyone, no matter what gender, ability, race, religion or sexuality, and we will continue to actively promote inclusion initiatives widely at all levels of the sport.’
Court’s family released a statement following Tennis Australia’s announcement.
Court in action at Wimbledon during her winning campaign in 1970 where she won all four grand slams
‘It is hard for her family to understand how her current lifestyle would possibly affect her Tennis Career in any way,’ the statement reads.
‘It is disappointing to see Tennis Australia in the Open Letter amalgamating her sporting career which she won for her Nation.
‘We hope in this great Nation of ours that generations to come will continue to have freedom of speech to stand for what they believe in.’
Tennis Australia had set a precedent for the invitation earlier this year when Rod Laver was welcomed as a guest for the 50th anniversary of his 1969 grand slam.
Court’s honour ceremony will be held on Rod Laver Arena before world number one Rafael Nadal takes on Australian 23rd seed Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round.
A mini documentary on Court is set to be released during the Australian Open. Pictured: Court in the Australian Open crowd in 2017