This week has seen a great amount of controversy arise from some statements made by retired tennis great Margaret Court in regards to gay marriage, and has resulted in many calling for the venue which bears her name to be renamed.
In a letter published in The West Australian newspaper, Court criticised Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s public statements in support of gay marriage. As a result, Court penned an open letter titled ‘Qantas loses a customer’, in which she stated “I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage,” and “your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling.” She justified these statements by stating that she believes in “marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible.”
This has of course lead to many well-known figures making statements in regards to Court’s letter, with many using this as an opportunity to call for Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to be renamed. The stadium, which has a capacity of around 7000, has a number of high-profile concerts lined up for this year, including Grinspoon, LCD Soundsystem, and Placebo, whose members have long aligned themselves with the LGBTQIA community.
As news.com.au reports, famous musical figures including promoter Michael Gudinski, and US musician Ryan Adams have also spoken out about their stances on the issue.
“They should change the name,” Gudinski stated. “I support equality. (Court’s comments) are an embarrassment.” However, Gudinski also stated that if the name is changed, it should take on the name of another musical or sporting icon. “It should be named after a person. We’ve got enough venues named after corporations or brands,” Gudinski said.
Gudinski’s Frontier Touring company is currently touring US rocker Ryan Adams, who performed at the venue last night. Adams took to Twitter to let his feelings be known, saying “Hey Margaret Court, a PAGAN who STRONGLY SUPPORTS marriage equality (get a prenup tho) will play the arena named for you tomorrow.”
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) May 25, 2017
Following his performance at the venue last night, Adams also took to Twitter today to share an image of the concert’s setlist, captioning the image as having taken place at the “Marriage Equality Arena.”
SET LIST: MELBOURNE
Marriage Equality Arena
ON TO SYDNEY…. pic.twitter.com/UuwA7XTlBc
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) May 27, 2017
While this will undoubtedly be an issue that will see much discussion over the coming days and weeks, we can only hope that this will be discussed calmly and with cool-heads, and will result in an outcome that is seen as appropriate and acceptable by the overwhelming majority of the public.
Court also appeared on The Project last night to discuss the current controversy, you can view that appearance below.