12-25-2011, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Re: Should Tennis Australia change the name of the Margaret Court show court @ the AO
Originally Posted by Sophocles
But I suspect I simply haven't made myself clear.
If we were talking about renaming the Margaret Court Dance-floor at G.A.Y. Night Club I should be the first to agree that renaming was a good idea. If we were talking about renaming the Margaret Court Chamber of the Australian Parliament I'd have no strong objection, beyond wondering why on earth it was named after a tennis player in the first place. But as we're talking about renaming one of the biggest tennis arenas in Australia, which is named after one of Australia's greatest tennis players, I find the argument for renaming it disturbing, for the following reasons.
1. The renamers are taking it for granted that Court is wrong.
Do I have to explain that this isn't really the way political debate works in a free society?
2. The renamers are taking it for granted that being wrong on this particular issue is morally wicked.
Guys, this is what the religious people are supposed to do. You know, the people you are against? Just because somebody has political views you find repugnant, does not make them morally inferior to you. Debate starts from neutral, not from, "I'm right & anybody who disagrees is evil."
3. The renamers are taking it for granted that institutions that have nothing to do with politics have a duty to promote, or at any rate express solidarity with, (the renamers' particular) political views.
This is totalitarian in tendency. Contrary to what some people seem to believe, politics is a small & mostly unimportant part of life, having far less effect than politicians imagine & occupying only a tiny part of most people's consciousnesses - and this is how it should be. One of the most noticeable features of a tyranny is how much politics impinges on people's lives & thoughts. You can't organise a sodding whist drive without checking with the local party secretary that the right "messages" are being conveyed. I don't want autonomous institutions put under pressure to make political statements or gestures, nor do I want them making such gestures. It is inimical to their instrinsic purposes (if those purposes are not political) & there is no need. If you want to know what to think about Margaret Court's comments, reading this thread would be far more help than going to a renamed arena. The arena's role is in tennis and Court's achievements are in tennis.
4. The renamers have completely missed the best reason for renaming it the "Ken Rosewall arena".
Court played on the WTA.
"But certain interests of particular people are so important that it would be wrong - morally wrong - for the community to sacrifice those interests just to secure an overall benefit. Political rights mark off and protect these particularly important interests. A political right, we may say, is a trump over the kind of trade-off argument that normally justifies political action." - Ronald Dworkin (RIP)