Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena was temporarily renamed on Google Maps this week, as controversy over the Australian tennis legend’s recent spate of homophobic comments continues.
Users of Google Maps noticed on Wednesday that the arena at Melbourne Park bearing Court’s name had been renamed to ‘Evonne Goolagong Arena’, after another Australian former tennis star.
The name change had previously been suggested by 18-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova, who issued a blistering open letter last week condemning Court over recent comments in which she criticised both same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting.
Google denied renaming the Arena themselves, blaming ‘‘user contributions’’ for the change, which comes as calls to remove Court’s name from the Arena intensify.
Court, who retired from professional tennis in 1977, holds the all-time record for Grand Slam titles, with 24. She became a Pentecostal minister in the early 1990s and has since been a vocal opponent of LGBT+ rights.
The current controversy began when Court pledged to avoid flying with Australian airline Qantas in protest at the company’s support of same-sex marriage. She later claimed tennis was “full of lesbians”.
Her comments have been criticised by many high profile tennis stars both past and present, including Britain’s Andy Murray.
The ATP world number one slammed Court’s statements during a post-match interview at the French Open in Paris last week, saying: “I don’t see why anyone has a problem with two people who love each other getting married.”
The two-time Wimbledon winner added: “If it’s two men, two women, that’s great. I don’t see why it should matter. It’s not anyone else’s business. Everyone, in my opinion, should have the same rights.”