The Roar
The Roar


Time to get politics out of sport

Margaret Court (Wikimedia Commons/Tourism Victoria)
Roar Pro
6th June, 2017

With the incredible development of professionalism in sport over the last fifty years or so creating the sports industry, one of the major spin-offs is that sport has turned into a mobile billboard.

It has become a vehicle to market everything from alcohol, cigarettes, energy, pies and pasties, motor vehicles, sound equipment and sports betting – basically anything and everything.

The latest and most concerning development is the use of sport, as a vehicle, to push political and social engineering viewpoints.

Sport and politics/social commentary have always been volatile bedfellows and, seemingly, it is becoming an even greater explosive mix.

The most recent example has been born out of Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, saying that Qantas represent an organisation supporting the concept of “marriage equality”.

I wonder if the Qantas board voted on this concept? It would have been better, I believe, for Qantas to have stuck to their core business, that of flying planes and not offered commentary upon a social engineering issue.

Australia’s greatest ever female tennis player, Margaret Court, whose name appears on the centre court at the Melbourne Tennis Centre, stated, in her role as an individual, that she was opposed to “marriage equality” and that the traditional concept of marriage should be “protected”.

Court made it transparently clear that she was not opposed to same-sex relationships, she “believe(s) we should protect marriage”.

This commentary has now escalated into the likes of Australia’s Sam Stosur and Martina Navratilova stating that her name should be removed from centre court and that there may well be players, at next year’s Australian Open, who may choose not to play on centre court, unless it is.


In the case of Stosur, with her track record at the Australian Open, that should not create a problem for her. Plus, there are numerous outside courts for those wishing to dodge centre court.

The danger in giving recognition and publicity to any particular cause, whatever it may be, is that it must be, for it to be equal and fair, available to all.

The AFL, I believe, is fundamentally guilty by awarding and celebrating particular causes by branding certain rounds.

Why should some receive recognition, when others don’t?

Let’s remove all these ’causes’ from all sporting competitions and just simply get on with the game.