Margaret Court: Tennis Australia won't 'rewrite history' amid anniversary plans
The 2020 Australian Open will see the 50th anniversary of Court's Grand Slam sweep recognised
By PA Media
Last Updated: 01/12/19 11:34am
Tennis Australia insists there are no plans to "rewrite history" over Margaret Court but reiterated its opposition to her views on same-sex marriage.
Court is to attend the Australian Open in January as a special guest in recognition of completing the Grand Slam of winning all four major events in 1970.
The 77-year-old, a devout Christian, is a controversial figure due to her belief that gay people should not be able to marry and Tennis Australia has distanced itself from her stance.
"Australia is fortunate that Margaret Court's extraordinary playing achievements form part of our national tennis history," Tennis Australia said in an open letter.
"Naturally, we will be recognising Margaret and her incredible tennis record, and contrary to many reports, there is no plan to 'rewrite history'.
"Margaret and her family have been invited to the Australian Open in January. Her outstanding playing career is her tennis legacy and clearly worthy of recognition.
"However, the philosophy and culture of our sport goes deeper than winning and setting records. We seek to foster a sport that is inclusive and welcoming of everyone.
"We all bear some responsibility for creating a safe and inclusive society. As a sport, tennis is unwavering in playing our part.
"As we have often communicated to Margaret, we respect that everyone has a right to an opinion - and a right to express it.
"Equally, we all share an obligation that while living our lives freely, we do not harm others, and we understand that there are consequences to our words.
"Similarly, we believe any public figure has a big responsibility to ensure their views are expressed in a way that demonstrates respect and tolerance, and does not cause harm to, or degrade others.
"It is with all of this in mind that we will continue to promote and celebrate inclusiveness and diversity."