‘Took Young Ones Into Parties and Things’ – When Controversial Tennis Legend Rebuked Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King for Coming Out About Their Sexuality

Published 10/05/2022, 6:29 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Martina Navratilova of United States of America and Cara Black of Zimbabwe (not pictured) in action during the Ladies Invitational Doubles against Mary Joe Fernandez of United States of America and Ai Sugiyama of Japan (not pictured) at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

Margaret Court ruled women’s tennis during the 70s and the early 80s. Although it was the period before the Open Era, she was a dominant force in the Grand Slam tournaments. During her illustrious career, she went on to become one of the most decorated players in the history of tennis. However, after her playing career, the tennis legend has entered into many controversies with the likes of Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.

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Court once criticized Navratilova and Billie Jean King for opening up about their sexuality.

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What did Margaret Court say about Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King?

During an interview on the Vision Christian Radio Station, Court once slammed Navratilova and Billie for talking about their sexuality. She said, “Tennis is full of lesbians because even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led took young ones into parties and things.”

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 16: Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, speaks during the. Australian Open Women In Focus Lunch at M on the Bud on October 16, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images for Tennis Australia)

Further, she added, “And you know, what you get at the top is often what you’ll get right through that sport.”

However, Navratilova hit back strongly, calling out Court for her comments. She said, “Her vitriol is not just an opinion. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights.”

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Following this episode, Navratilova led the growing number of calls to rename the Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open. More than 5000 people signed the online petition for the stadium to be renamed.

Navratilova picks out the GOAT between Margaret Court and Serena Williams

During an episode of The Ladies’ Room podcast, Navratilova discussed about who was the better between Serena and Court. The 65-year-old felt that Serena was the only one who could ever come close to bettering Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles. However, she also said that Court played before the Open Era and it wasn’t appropriate to compare different eras.

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Watch this story: Will Smith Shows How King Richard Cast Trained Like Serena and Venus Williams

With her third-round exit at the 2022 US Open, Serena ended her career at 23 major titles, one behind Court’s record of 24 major titles.

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Vatsal Shah

1323 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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