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Tennis star Andy Murray calls for Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena to be renamed over anti-gay views

Tennis star Andy Murray is urging officials to consider renaming Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena over the Australian’s anti-gay stance.

Court once praised South Africa’s apartheid system, said ‘tennis is full of lesbians’ and described transgender children as ‘the work of the devil’.  

British three-time Grand Slam champion Murray says he doesn’t think the tennis veteran’s values align with the sport.

‘She has obviously offended and upset a lot of people over the years,’ said Murray in an interview with Pridelife.com. 

Tennis star Andy Murray (pictured with wife Kim Sears) is urging officials to consider renaming Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena over the Australian's anti-gay stance

Tennis star Andy Murray (pictured with wife Kim Sears) is urging officials to consider renaming Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena over the Australian’s anti-gay stance

‘I think the players certainly have spoken up, which is a positive thing.

‘As far as renaming the venue. I think that yes, it’s something the sport should consider.’

Murray, who is a five-time runner-up at the Australian Open, said her opinions are drawing attention away from the game.

‘When you get to the Australian Open you want to concentrate on the tennis. Court’s views detract from that,’ said Murray.’

Margaret Court (pictured right with husband Barry) once praised South Africa's apartheid system, said 'tennis is full of lesbians' and described transgender children as 'the work of the devil'

Margaret Court (pictured right with husband Barry) once praised South Africa’s apartheid system, said ‘tennis is full of lesbians’ and described transgender children as ‘the work of the devil’

‘I don’t know who makes the final decision on that but I don’t think her values are what tennis stands for.’

Murray’s comments follow calls from WTA founder Billie Jean King to remove Court’s name from one of the main stadiums at the Australian Open’s Melbourne Park venue.

A number of other senior figures in the tennis world have also criticised Court over her conservative views.

Margaret Court (pictured in the 1960s) remains one of the greatest tennis players of all time after winning a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles

Margaret Court (pictured in the 1960s) remains one of the greatest tennis players of all time after winning a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles

Court, who won a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, has become a divisive figure in tennis, and especially at the Australian Open.

At the tournament in January, Tennis Australia held a low-key ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of her 1970 calendar-year Grand Slam.

Officials noted her views had ‘demeaned and hurt many in our community’.

Murray said her reception from the public was ‘lukewarm.’  

There are growing calls to rename Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena (pictured) over the tennis veteran's controversial views on homosexuality and race

There are growing calls to rename Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena (pictured) over the tennis veteran’s controversial views on homosexuality and race

At the same tournament, American greats John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova were reprimanded for an on court protest.

They unfurled a banner calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed after Evonne Goolagong, the three-time Australian Open winner. 

In retirement, Court, now a devoutly Christian church pastor and based in Perth, Western Australia, has often attracted controversy over her comments on race and homosexuality.  

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