Billie Jean King Says Margaret Court Arena’s Name Should Change

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Billie Jean King said Friday that if she were still playing, she would not compete in Margaret Court Arena. Julian Smith/European Pressphoto Agency

MELBOURNE, Australia — Billie Jean King said Friday that the Australian Open’s Margaret Court Arena should have its name changed because of Court’s derogatory comments about gay and transgender people.

“If I were playing today, I would not play on it,” King said at a news conference three days before the tournament begins.

King, who won her first Australian title 50 years ago by beating Court in the final, said, “I personally don’t think she should have her name anymore.” .

King has often defended Court, and the arena, and her shift on Friday was her strongest criticism to date.

King said she originally supported giving the arena Court’s name, a move that was made in 2003.

“I was really for her to have it,” King said. She then paused.

Source: The New York Times