In every industry, women have had to fight an ongoing battle for their talents and skills to be recognized against their male counterparts. Professional tennis player Billie Jean King is no stranger to this fight. She fought for women’s rights in sports during her lengthy career and continues to advocate for women to this day. King’s resume boasts many performance-based accomplishments such as winning 39 Grand Slam titles and the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships, however, as an active pioneer for gender equality one of the most impactful events of her competitive years is the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match.
In 1973, 29-year-old King played against 55-year-old male tennis player Bobby Riggs and defeated him. Her ability to win against a male competitor showed people across the world that girls can do anything a man can do, if not better. When asked about the match, King said “I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match. It would ruin the women’s tour and affect all women’s self-esteem.” Shortly after her win, King continued her efforts to secure women’s rightful place in sports by starting the Women’s Tennis Association and Women’s Sports Foundation.
Billie Jean King’s compelling story is currently being told to global audiences in the new film “Battle of the Sexes.” The movie, which stars Emma Stone as King and Steve Carrell as Riggs, was released on September 29th and highlights the impact the tennis champion made on women’s sports.
Watch the trailer for the film BELOW!