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Margaret Court not fazed by Australia Day honours backlash

Tennis great Margaret Court says she is not fazed by the immense backlash and criticism she has copped after being recognised in the 2021 Australia Day honours list.

Court will be made a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) on Tuesday – the nation’s highest honour – for her success as a player and as a mentor to athletes.

Margaret Court has broken her silence on receiving the award. (Nine)

Speaking to 9News this afternoon, Court said she was honoured to receive the prestigious title and she did not care about the backlash.

Court said she would be praying for those who did not support her and blessing them.

“I think over the years, I’ve had so much criticism that it doesn’t really affect me,” she said.

“I call them blessed because I pray for them and I pray for my nation.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was among those to say he does not support the recognition of Court today.

Mr Andrews expressed his disdain over the decision to honour Court, while adding he was “sick of talking about that person every summer”.

“I do not support that,” Mr Andrews said.

Premier Daniel Andrews has slammed the decision to honour Margaret Court. (Nine)

“You know my views on a whole range of issues. I don’t believe she has views that accord with the vast majority of people across our nation, that see people particularly people from the LGTBI community, as equal and deserving of dignity, respect and safety.

“I don’t believe she shares those views and I don’t believe she should be honoured because of that. I would prefer not to be giving oxygen to some of these views.”

When asked what she would say in response to the premier’s comments, Court said:

“I call him blessed. I pray for him, I pray for our premiers.”

Court did not apologise for her religious views, emphasising she was entitled to speak freely about her opinions.

“I think for freedom of speech, I should be able to have a say for what I believe,” she said.

Margaret Court.
Margaret Court believes she is entitled to her religious views. (Getty)

“I teach what the bible says. That’s my beliefs and I stand with that.

“There’s a lot of people who agree with me. The bible has been around for thousands of years.”

Honours lists are sent under embargo to media outlets prior to Australia Day for preparation purposes.

However, the news Court was set to be honoured was made public on social media this morning by a Melbourne columnist, who said ‘other sources’ had made him aware of the decision.

Court said the award was a “great honour” and she had not expected to receive it.

“I’m just so thankful that this honour has come.”

Source: 9News | World News

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