Culture

Margaret Court’s Very Dumb Qantas Boycott Over Same-Sex Marriage Is Being Slammed

Even Ryan Adams has joined in the roasting.

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In the great Australian tradition of high-profile sports ‘legends’ saying incredibly dumb things, former tennis champ Margaret Court is today copping a lot of heat after announcing a boycott of Qantas due to the company’s support of same-sex marriage.

Court, who won 24 Grand Slam titles during her tennis career, is a Christian minister and vocal opponent of LGBTIQ rights, including same-sex marriage.

In a letter published in The West Australian yesterday, Court wrote that she was “disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage”. She went on to say that the company’s stance left her “no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling”.

Helpful tip, Margaret: if you’re announcing a boycott saying you’ll enforce it “where possible” makes you look a bit silly. You’re basically saying “Well I won’t fly Qantas, except if they’re the convenient option in which case, yeah I probably will fly with them”.

Earlier this year Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas, signed an open letter organised by Australian Marriage Equality calling on the government to legalise same-sex marriage. At the time immigration minister Peter Dutton said it was “unacceptable” the company was using its profile and brand to campaign on the issue.

Court didn’t specify in her letter exactly what prompted the boycott, but it’s likely to be related to the open letter.

But we’ve got bad news for Court. Qantas’ main competitor, Virgin, is also a proud supporter of same-sex marriage. Whoops.

US musician Ryan Adams, who is currently touring Australia and will be performing at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, took the opportunity to take a dig at Court:

There have also been calls for the Arena to change its name. In The Sydney Morning Herald sportswriter Peter FitzSimons asked “does Melbourne Park really want to have an arena named after someone who stands so firmly against such inclusiveness, who is becoming a byword for bigot?”.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova has also suggested it might be time to change the name of the Arena.

The venue itself has issued a statement saying it “does not support Margaret Court’s comments and we remain an organisation committed to embracing equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Even though Australia is lagging behind plenty of other countries when it comes to actually legalising same-sex marriage, it has been satisfying to see Court’s boycott so quickly and roundly called out as dumb and offensive.