This Thanksgiving, let's pay respect to tennis icon Billie Jean King
Nov 23, 2023
There's a lot to be thankful for in 2023. But one thing tennis fans should feel grateful for today is that our sport has an icon like Billie Jean King. It turns out yesterday was King's 80th birthday. And the WTA paid tribute to her massive contribution to the sport of tennis and beyond.
"It can be argued that King, born Billie Jean Moffitt 80 years ago on Wednesday in Long Beach, California, has had as great an impact on women’s rights as anyone in history," according to the WTA.
“Billie Jean pushed the ball forward toward women’s equality in a way that really cannot be measured,” 18-time major singles champion Martina Navratilova told the WTA. “She not only transcended tennis, she transcended sports and made millions of women and girls feel stronger and braver in every way.”
“I think putting BJK alongside those historic figures is justified,” said Pam Shriver, a 22-time major doubles champion. “She should be on the Mt. Rushmore for people impacting women’s rights.”
“When Billie Jean King battled for equal opportunity in tennis, she was just starting,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said. "[She remains] a guiding light and inspiration to all of us in the WTA family.”
To celebrate her birthday, the WTA spoke with a wide variety of players in order to send along a message of gratitude and celebration. This Thanksgiving, we recommend you take a moment to watch, enjoy, and salute a true icon in our game.