If you think America is the only place sports and politics are interwoven, think again. The winningest women’s tennis player of all-time is under fire in Australia for supporting heterosexuality. She and a former WNBA player Candice Wiggins were both scrutinized for claiming their sports were full of lesbians.
Some claim athletes influence on social change is many who have come out as members of the LGBT community thus challenging social stereotypes and influencing more acceptance of LGBTs. Some ask if that is a good thing? Others point to the negative example set by athletes who say “I am not a role model.”
Tennis champ rebuked
Margaret Court, the women with the most Grand Slam major titles in history, was forced out of the Cotteslove Tennis Club in Perth. Now a Pentecostal pastor, Court’s sin is opposing a same-sex marriage referendum underway down under.
“No amount of legislation or political point-scoring can ever take out of the human heart the knowledge that in the beginning God created them male and female and provided each with a unique sexual function to bring forth new life,” Court was quoted in The West Australian newspaper in an interview last month. “To dismantle this sole definition of marriage and try to legitimize what God calls abominable sexual practices that include sodomy, reveals our ignorance as to the ills that come when society is forced to accept law that violates their very own God-given nature of what is right and what is wrong.”’
Australia is embroiled in a national, non-binding same-sex marriage vote. Voters have until Nov. 7 to mail their votes. The results are scheduled to be announced Nov. 15. Parliament is expected to vote on changing the marriage law if “yes” votes win.
Australia has a “temporary” ban on “hate speech” through the end of the election. Those found guilty of vilifying, intimidating or threatening harm “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or religion” could face a $10,000 fine. Australian Conservatives Sen. Cory Bernardi told ‘No” supporters that a change to the Marriage Act could lead to the criminalization of thoughts or speech, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Court says she does not use Qantas airlines in protest of the company’s support for same-sex marriage. Further she opposes the country’s SafeSchools anti-bullying program. It, Court said, leaves children confused by telling them it is permissible to identify with a gender other than their birth sex.
“There is a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world today to get the minds of the children,” Court said. “That’s what Hitler did and that’s what communism did – got the mind of the children. And there’s a whole plot in our nation, and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.”