Were John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova wrong protesting Margaret Court?

 

When I read the tweet I embedded below, two names came to my mind:

  1. Former Wallabies star, Israel Folau
  2. former Australian tennis great, Margaret Court.

 

OK, so this year does mark fifty years since Court’s historic 1970 Grand Slam win.

Her achievements should be acknowledged. Then, we can let her go to live the rest of her life.

That was too much to ask. On Wednesday, Czech – American former tennis player Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe were condemned after breaching security protocol by sThey were protesting to change the name of Margaret Court Arena.

After a public outcry and condemnation from Tennis Australia, Navratilova and McEnroe have both apologised for their conduct.

Reaction from the media

Of course, Newscorp columnists were all over it. Andrew Bolt accused Navratilova and McEnroe of being “intolerant” and Rita Panahi slammed them as “bullies”.

I’m surprised that the reaction hasn’t been more extreme. I’m surprised that no one has slammed LGBTQ+ people or blamed same – sex marriage, (then again, Sky News Australia’s Outsiders hasn’t started yet).

The Guardian Australia published a piece arguing that it’s Margaret Court should be the one to apologise.

 

Navratilova and McEnroe had the right to protest. Navratilova in particular, had a stake in the debate, being a married gay woman. Maybe they shouldn’t have jumped onto the court itself, though.

However, I do cringe at what they’ve done. As I have said on other occasions, too many LGBTQ+ protesters and allies don’t do LGBTQ+ causes any favours. We’re lucky that things hasn’t heat up too much.

Should conservatives just suck it up?

Security breach is something I don’t support. Aside from that, people do have a right to protest.

 

This isn’t the first time that calls have been made to rename Margaret Court Arena. During the same – sex marriage debate, the calls to rename it started and name it after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

The debate has been going on since the same – sex marriage debate, when Court publicly opposed same – sex marriage and made controversial comments about  transgender children.

Since then, Court has been painted as a victim by conservative commentators. Critics of Court, Israel Folau and others have been endlessly condemned as ‘bullies’. People have even said that this is why the same – sex marriage ‘yes’ vote should not have gotten up. People were ‘warned’ about the ‘consequences’ of same – s3x marriage.

 

For the most part, I think these commentators use the  term ‘bully’ too liberally. While bullying, such as what happened to Wilson Gavin do occur, conservatives tend to equate disagreement, or in this case, protest, as bullying. That’s what they often accuse the Left of doing.

I want to reiterate, I don’t necessarily agree with what McEnroe and Navratilova did or how they went about it. Yet, it was their protest. Which I guess is their right while they’re here. Right?

 

I really hoped that 2020 could be the year where the culture wars would die down But they won’t. The battle will rage on.

What do you think of Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe protest against Margaret Court? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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