Fashion icon Anna Wintour knows how to make a statement, and she certainly did it well today by hitting out at some of the backwards views of Margaret Court and the Morrison Government, while in Melbourne for the Australian Open.
Her comments brought into focus a key factor that should underpin any major sporting event like the Australian Open: that intolerance has no place.
The grand slam tournament is a place where a mix of talent meets to compete in an activity loved and enjoyed by people all over the world. Merit is judged on the court. Tolerance for all players and spectators should be a given, no matter what their background.
The players and the champions that are celebrated and elevated, even long after they ever competed, should reflect those values.
As such, Wintour took on tennis legend Margaret Court over homophobic comments she’s made in the past, declaring that having a stadium named after her is “inconsistent with the sport”.
“I find that it is inconsistent with the sport for Margaret Court’s name to be on a stadium that does so much to bring all people together across their differences,” she said at an Australian Open breakfast event, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“This much I think is clear to anyone who understands the spirit and the joy of the game. Intolerance has no place in tennis.”
Wintour said that while Margaret Court was a “champion”, that a “meeting point for players of all nations, preference and backgrounds” should aim to celebrate somebody who is a champion off the court also.
She then said she has been alarmed by the Morrison Government’s record on LGBTQ rights, “which seems backwards in all senses.”
“That no one can be expelled from school for their orientation, should not require clarification. A government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted and we are struggling with these issues in the United States as well.”
Thank you Anna Wintour. Intolerance has no place in sport. Speaking out about it in tennis, especially regarding how former champions are celebrated, is an excellent start.