Margaret Court has hit back at a Perth tennis club that ditched her as a patron, saying she’s being vilified for her views on same-sex marriage.
Cottesloe Tennis Club members voted against Court’s re-election as vice-patron, a move which she slammed as being “politically motivated”.
“I think it’s sad. You don’t have the freedom of speech today to really defend yourself,” she told the West Australian.
“It’s a sad day for our nation when it comes to that.
“Ian Thorpe can stand for the other side and there’s no criticism but when we stand for our Christian beliefs or God’s side I feel sporting people are very intimidated, they’re put down.”
Tennis West chief executive Michael Roberts supported Cottesloe’s decision, saying that if Court was going to speak publicly about polarising issues, she needs to be prepared for the backlash.
“If you’ve got an opinion that’s very polarising, when you’re so firmly supportive or against something, then it’s going to have an impact on how you’re perceived in the community,” he said.
“Obviously, her opinions had played a part in it, there’s no doubt about that.
“Cottesloe Tennis Club, whether they meant to or not, have made a bit of a social stand by making the decision.”
The same sex marriage postal survey is on now, with forms needing to be sent back by the 7th of November.