Have you heard of Margaret Court?
A tennis champion, Court “won a record 24 major singles titles, best in history, regardless of gender,” between 1960 and 1975.
The best. Even more than Serena Williams.
Still, you've likely never heard of Margaret Court.
But cancel culture has. And they're bent on taking her out. Which matters even if you don't care about tennis.
Court's story is about more than tennis. It's about us and what we would do if cancel culture threatened to blot out our names as it did hers.
Court’s “name is plastered throughout the record books, some of her accomplishments needing a second read to make sure they’re not a typographical error,” the International Tennis Hall of Fame explains, noting that she won more Grand Slam championships (66) than any other woman. She is the only player to “win three calendar-year Grand Slams,” winning the four mixed doubles events with fellow Australian Kenneth Fletcher in 1963.
So where is the honor for a woman with outstanding credentials?
Oh! That’s right. Margaret Court holds the wrong beliefs. She’s often said the quiet part out loud and we can’t have that, remaining famous and having ESPN celebrate her success on the same level as Serena Williams, of course.
Right now, there’s a move afoot to rename an arena that bears Court’s name. It happens to be the site of the Australian Open. Why? Because to the tennis elite, Court is persona non grata because she believes what the Bible says. So she, along with her pesky views, must be wiped out.
Court became a Pentecostal Christian minister in the 1990s, Fox News explained last year, and “she believes she has been essentially shunned from the tennis community because of her beliefs, including her opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia.”
"It’s very sad, because a lot of the press and television today, particularly in tennis, don't want to mention my name," she said, noting that they are forced into it because she holds a lot of records.
"In 2020, I was meant to be coming to Wimbledon for the 50th anniversary of my calendar grand slam. But then COVID hit, so the honor never happened,” Court said. “The French Open didn't invite me; the U.S. Open didn't invite me. Rod Laver had won the slam, and I was going to be honored in the same way, but no."
It's her beliefs and ability to speak with clarity, regardless of the pushback received, that forced her out of the inner circle.
We may not play tennis, but Margaret Court’s story matters. It shows the disastrous effects of a culture bent on vaporizing dissenters, legends included, because they refuse to bend the knee to the accepted cultural narrative.
But if someone's views are that fragile and wither when questioned, or they lash out when disagreement occurs, what do you have left? Isn’t it true that confident people, regardless of their beliefs, aren't afraid of dissenting views, questions, or hurt feelings?
The racquet club set clearly is afraid of them. “Several renowned tennis players have also called for the arena to be renamed,” reported “The Courier Mail,” including “US great John McEnroe, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova and the legendary Billie Jean King.”
Margaret is 80 years old and already unmentionable in the sports world. Why remove her name from that arena and crush her legacy?
The bottom line is that if they've come for her, an athlete deserving legendary status, because she didn't back away from her biblical beliefs, the powers that be won't hesitate to come for us, too. And then it’s time for us to answer the question: Would we risk everything we've worked for — adoration, honor, and respect — because our faith demands that we tell the truth?
Most of us have much less to lose than Margaret Court. So why don’t we speak the truth as boldly?
Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.