Martina Navratilova accuses fellow tennis great Margaret Court of 'hiding behind her Bible' after controversial sermon attacking transgender women and children

Martina Navratilova has hit back at Margaret Court's attack on transgender women (PA Images)
Martina Navratilova has hit back at Margaret Court's attack on transgender women (PA Images)
10:28am, Wed 01 Jan 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova has slammed fellow tennis great Margaret Court over her controversial sermon condemning transgender women and children last week.

Speaking at a sermon in Perth, Court, 77, said: "We are living in a season ... even that LGBT and the schools – it's of the devil, it's not of God ... And when children are making the decision at seven or eight years of age to change their sex ... no, just read the first two chapters of Genesis, that's all I say. Male and female.

"It's so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm at that age. And they start to question 'What am I?' and if you are a Christian ... you believe the word of God, this is our TV guide to life. "... And you know with that LGBT, they'll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women's sports, they're going to have so many problems."

Navratilova, who will attend this month's Australian Open at which the 50th anniversary of Court's grand slam year will be recognised, but not celebrated, responded to tweets about Court's latest sermon calling her 'pathetic...in every way'.

In response to another tweet, she commented on how 'amazing how strong her [Court's] homophobia truly is'.

A third response from Navratilova accused the Australian great of 'hiding behind her Bible' and urged followers not to give it publicity.

Navratilova, who came out as gay in 1981, has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights but initially admitted that despite supporting trans people in the community, she did not feel it was fair for them to compete in women's sports.

In an article in The Sunday Times in February, she wrote: "It's insane and it's cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair."

Since this statement, she apologised for her comments and announced that she now has a greater sympathy for transgender women in sport.

Sign up to our newsletter