Decision to award Margaret Court top Australian honour serves up controversy


Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has since come out saying he does not support Court being recognised with an Australia Day honour.

"Given the message that the Council for the Order of Australia is sending by giving this promotion to Mrs Margaret Court, I would like to return my OAM". It is an announcement that will be announced on that day.

"This is a completely independent set of processes", Morrison said.

Meantime, outrage is growing over the decision.

Court is set to be promoted to a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), one honour higher than her current Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and the highest in the country. That's not a matter for me; that's for others. Margaret Smith is a CHAMPION TENNIS PLAYER!

Her views on the LGBT community have sparked widespread condemnation.

He said there would be "many distinguished Australians" reconsidering their association with the awards system in light of the honour.

'I therefore have both professional experience as well as lived experience of the communities that Mrs Margaret Court makes these derogatory and hurtful remarks about'.

"It's clear for everyone to see that making her a Companion of the Order of Australia has nothing to do with tennis", he tweeted.

During the apartheid regime in South Africa, she said: 'I love South Africa.

"So let's do it now", he said.

"I am disappointed in the media that it was released because they're not supposed to do that".

"Australia is beyond believing other are less than equal or suffering from a form of abnormality that needs correcting".

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Labor MP Linda Burney told SBS News Dr Soo's decision to hand back her award was "absolutely understandable", describing her as a "profoundly impressive Australian". Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had no "official knowledge" of Court's award.

"You might want to speak to them about why they think those views, which are disgraceful, hurtful and cost lives, should be honored", Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said Friday, via The Guardian.

Margaret Court has been appointed a Companion to the Order of Australia.

The 78-year-old Pentecostal minister has come under fire in recent years for her views on same-sex marriage, homosexuality and transgender people.

Tennis Australia has consistently stated it does not agree with Margaret Court's personal views as they do not align with its values of "equality, diversity and inclusion", but it has refused to rename the court. The calls reached a peak at the 2020 Australian Open, when tennis greats John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, and Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour all criticised Court's public statements.

"I'm not going to change my opinions and views, and I think it's very important for freedom of speech that we can say our beliefs".

"I'm sick of talking about that person every summer".

'I should always be able to say my views biblically, being a pastor and helping people with marriages and family.

Court - the victor of an unparalleled 24 grand slam singles titles - described the honour as a great privilege.

Court has the most Grand Slam titles in history to date.

In 2013, she did single out an individual.

"Back in those days we played singles, doubles and mixed and that wasn't easy".