Martina Navratilova apologized Wednesday for "breaking protocol" when she and John McEnroe unfurled a banner that read "Evonne Goolagong Arena" on Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Navratilova had earlier written an open letter calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed because of the Australian's controversial views on sexuality and race. After she and McEnroe showed their banner, Navratilova began addressing the crowd on Margaret Court Arena only for the sound to be cut by officials.
On Wednesday, former world No. 1 Navratilova said she stood by her suggestion that the court be renamed but admitted that the way she went about it was wrong.
"I got in trouble, I am sorry I broke protocol," she said.
"I had no idea there was this kind of protocol," she told the Tennis Channel. "Had I known, I would have done it differently. I would have still tried to make my statement, which is that you name buildings after not what people did on the court, but also off the court, the whole body of work.
"I said my piece. You can see my whole statement. I stand by that. But I apologize about breaking protocol. I did not need to do that."
Tennis Australia had issued a statement of their own on Tuesday evening, saying they were "working through" the issue with Navratilova and McEnroe.
"We embrace diversity, inclusion and the right for people to have a view, as well as the right to voice that view," Tennis Australia said in a statement. "But the Australian Open has regulations and protocols with respect to how any fan, player or guest can use our facility, the event and the global stage it provides. This is to ensure the integrity of the event. Two high-profile guests have breached these protocols and we are working through this with them."
McEnroe released a statement late Tuesday, saying he was not aware of Tennis Australia's protocols.
"Admittedly I was never one to study the rule book carefully or for that matter, even at times abide by the rules," McEnroe said. "In this case, I was not aware of the Tennis Australia rules and protocol for issuing credentials. For that I apologize to Tennis Australia and recognize and appreciate the great job they have done to make the Australian Open a great event for the fans, players and myself".
Court was presented with a special trophy in a ceremony on Monday, 50 years after she won Wimbledon, the US Open, Roland-Garros and the Australian Open to complete the coveted calendar-year Grand Slam.
The Australian has been present at Melbourne Park throughout the tournament but will not be presenting the winner's trophy in the women's final and will not be given a platform to speak.