Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

tennis

king wants name of court off aussie open arena

MELBOURNE, Australia — Billie Jean King thinks one of the main venues at the Australian Open, Margaret Court Arena, should be renamed because of Court’s comments about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

King, a trailblazer for equality and diversity in tennis, said Friday that she had initially been a proponent of having Margaret Court Arena named in 2003 in recognition of the 24-time Grand Slam singles winner’s contribution to the sport.

"I was fine until lately when she said so many derogatory things about my community — I’m a gay woman — about the LBGTIQ community," said King, 74, one of the original professionals in women’s tennis and winner of 12 major singles titles in the Open era (from 1968). "That really went deep in my heart and soul.

"I personally don’t think she should have (her name on the stadium) anymore."

Court, 75, who holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles across the amateur and Open eras, is a Christian pastor who lives in Perth, Australia. Her negative comments about gay people before Australia voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage were heavily criticized last year. Court also has called transgender children the work of "the devil."

Tournament director Craig Tiley said there had been "conversation" among stakeholders of Melbourne Park, site of the Australian Open, regarding the issue but no process is in place to change the name of the stadium.

The Australian Open begins Monday. King is attending for the first time in eight years, marking the 50th anniversary of her win over Court for the title. Court has been a regular at the event but is not attending this year.

King said she wished Court was in Melbourne so they could continue the conversation.

ET CETERA

boxing: WBC heavyweight championship Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) is set to meet unbeaten Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) on March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

soccer: Germany’s Bundesliga resumed after the winter break with Bayern Munich increasing its lead to 14 points after a 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen. It was Leverkusen’s first defeat at home this season and ended a 12-game unbeaten run. … In MLS, Meghan Cameron is settling into her job as assistant director of player personnel with Sporting Kansas City, the first woman to manage player contracts, salary budget and acquisitions for a team in the league.

Times wires

Comments
Ryan Callahan ahead of schedule on return to Lightning

Ryan Callahan ahead of schedule on return to Lightning

TAMPA — Ryan Callahan is ahead of schedule. The forward had a target date of Nov. 1, on the early side, to return from shoulder surgery, but the Lightning is making moves that imply he may see the ice sooner.That date could be Thursday night's ...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Mark Duffner, ‘living legend,’ takes over as Bucs defensive coordinator

Mark Duffner, ‘living legend,’ takes over as Bucs defensive coordinator

Mark Duffner is about as much of a hands on coach as there is in the NFL."Oh, yeah, everybody gets the hug," linebacker Devante Bond said.It's not just his embrace, a warm, long-lasting squeeze that can come without warning to any player on the team....
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Buccaneers-Falcons All-22: Quarterbacks are faking out Tampa Bay’s defense

Buccaneers-Falcons All-22: Quarterbacks are faking out Tampa Bay’s defense

Thank goodness for the Buffalo Bills.Their offense might be the only thing in the NFL right now more unsightly than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Yes, the Bucs are allowing more points per game than any other team. It might seem as if it couldn&#...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Bucs LB Kendell Beckwith unable to return on first day eligible to practice

Bucs LB Kendell Beckwith unable to return on first day eligible to practice

Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith, whose season-long recovery from ankle surgery has left a major void defensively, did not practice on Wednesday – the first day he was eligible to return to the field. Beckwith, who was placed on the non-footbal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Our NBA preview in 20 questions (and answers)

Our NBA preview in 20 questions (and answers)

Will the Warriors win yet again? What about LeBron and the Lakers? And will there be Magic in Orlando? Times columnist Tom Jones plays 20 questions with the NBA.Are the Lakers going to be really good with LeBron?They'll be better than last season's 3...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jesuit’s rebuilding project on defense is now the strength of the team

Jesuit’s rebuilding project on defense is now the strength of the team

TAMPA — When Kiael Kelly transferred from Tampa Catholic to become Jesuit's quarterback over the summer, it was a huge boost to an offense that struggled through a 6-5 2017 season. The unknown for the Tigers as they looked forward to this seaso...
Updated: 3 hours ago
UCF football midseason review: Is there no stopping the Knights?

UCF football midseason review: Is there no stopping the Knights?

Much like its rival to the west, 10th-ranked UCF hasn't played anyone of great significance.But unlike USF, the Knights haven't been playing with fire.Aside from its close, controversial encounter Saturday at Memphis (a 31-30 win), UCF has done exact...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Forfeits put Gibbs’ playoff hopes in jeopardy

Forfeits put Gibbs’ playoff hopes in jeopardy

Gibbs High was fined $700 and had to forfeit its first six games of the regular season for using a fifth-year senior who was ruled ineligible by the Florida High School Athletic Association.In all, the Gladiators forfeited seven games, including a pr...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Georgia’s Kirby Smart not surprised by Florida Gators’ quick turnaround

Georgia’s Kirby Smart not surprised by Florida Gators’ quick turnaround

The Gators have completely transformed themselves from where they were a year ago against Georgia.Their 42-7 loss to the Bulldogs didn't even seem as close as the final score indicated. A day later, Jim McElwain was out as the head coach.No. 11 Flori...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pasco County pitching pair gets a shot at USA Softball junior national team

Pasco County pitching pair gets a shot at USA Softball junior national team

LAND O'LAKES — A fourth-grade friendship forged by softball had resulted in a collection of lifetime memories for pals Callie Turner and Lexi Kilfoyl.The high school seniors have both led their prep teams — Turner at Land O'Lakes, Kilfoyl...
Updated: 6 hours ago