Margaret Court, the most decorated tennis player in history, has had a bad week. First, she said that she would boycott Australian airline Qantas because of CEO Allan Joyce's support for gay marriage. That caused a stir in the tennis community, with many, including Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, calling for Tennis Australia to rename Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open. There had even been talk about a player boycott at next year's tournament if no change has been made.
Then Court really let loose.
Court, now a pastor at the Victory Life Centre in Perth, appeared on Australia's Vision Christian Radio and attacked a group that is already constantly under attack, comparing the LGBTQ community to Hitler, communists, and the devil.
Tennis, which Court said is "full of lesbians," is apparently part of a worldwide plot to turn young children gay.
"When I was playing there was only a couple [of lesbians]," Court said.
"But those couple that led took young ones into parties and things. What you get at the top is often what you'll get right through that sport."
"That's what Hitler did. That's what communism did," Court said, "get in the minds of the children. There's a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get in the minds of the children."
In the face of polls that show 65 per cent of Australians support gay marriage, Court said: "We know the statistics are very, very wrong. They're after our young ones, that's what they're after."
Court, who will lose what little professional standing she still has after Serena Williams wins two more Majors, went on to accuse her critics of bullying. She was specifically upset about the calls to remove her name from the Australian Open court.
Bullied but undeterred, she turned her attention to transgender people, which she sees as confused and—you guessed it—also part of Satan's plot:
"If you feel like being a girl, you can dress like a girl," mused Court. "What confusion to a child. I get confused talking about it. You can think, 'I'm a boy', and it affects your emotions and feelings and everything else. That's all the devil."
We are living through a very strange time in history and public discourse. People who project an aura of authority and power, who are so sure they are in the right, so obsessed with taking back what they feel has been taken from them, and so focused on doing it by force and without regard for anyone else, are also the softest, most delicate weaklings when confronted.
Margaret Court acts like an asshole, gets called on it, and then claims she's being bullied. Then she goes ahead and picks on some of the most marginalized people in what should be a civilized society. That is the mark of a bully, not someone standing up to one.
Court then went on to say that God's view on homosexuality was as clear as a cop flagging down a car on the side of the road. "You pray there is enough people who will stand up and flag this nation down," she said. Let's start with standing up to the bullying jocks.