Out lesbian tennis great Martina Navratilova has shown her rainbow colours this week as criticism of fellow sports star Margaret Court’s outspoken opinion on homosexuality intensifies.
The picture below shows Navratilova’s colourful sleeves at this week’s Legends matches. Doug Pollard, spokesperson for the increasingly Facebook page Rainbow Flags over Margaret Court Arena believes she’s showing her support for the campaign.
Navratilova came out in 1981, but is most known for her tennis achievements, winning 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles over the course of her career – statistically, making her one of the greatest female tennis players ever.
“Playing on Margaret Court Arena – it’s an honor, as always, to be on that court,” the long-standing gay rights activist said, but when asked about Court’s controversial comments, added: “You know, it’s not a personal issue. Clearly Margaret Court’s views that she has expressed on same sex marriage, I think are outdated.”
Navratilova believes trying to convince Court otherwise is fruitless, as she has tried to persuade her but says she received the “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” line several times in reply.
Pollard welcomes Navratilova’s support and says the rainbow flag initiatives at the Australian Open promote love and acceptance.
“Navratilova waved several times to the rainbow crowd in the course of the match, joining in the laughter when a large rainbow umbrella slowly opened and closed as part of a languorous Mexican wave by the good humoured assembly,” he said.
In contrast, an investigation is currently underway over the alleged refusal of one rainbow flag to be admitted into the Margaret Court Arena.
Chrissy Adams was sitting outside Rod Laver Arena, directly across from Margaret Court Arena, when she was approached by police officers who allegedly began questioning her motives and taking down her details.
“I felt intimidated… at the thought of being ejected from Melbourne Park just because I had decided to fly my Rainbow Flag and be out and proud,” Adams says.
Pollard has branded the interrogation “incontrovertibly discriminatory” and a complaint has been lodged by ‘Rainbow Flags over Margaret Court Arena’ with the Human Rights Commission over the police behaviour.
See more rainbows in Margaret Court Arena during the Australian Open in our gallery below.
January 29th, 2012