Billie Jean King: I want inclusion, and men are really important to this



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Billie Jean King:  I want inclusion, and men are really important to this

Tennis legend Billie Jean King says when she played Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes match in 1973, she did not play just for women but for tennis as a whole. In a piece for The Wall Street Journal, King writes, "Silence helps me visualize how I want the world to look.

I want inclusion, and men are really important to this. Women still aren’t paid enough. Girls often don’t have proper leagues. The old-boy network is as strong as ever. People come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for what you did for women’s tennis.’ But I fought for tennis; I didn’t fight just for women.

They would never go up to a male and say, ‘Thanks for what you did for men’s tennis’—ever. When I played Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes a thousand years ago, I would also visualize and be very quiet.

I pictured getting every ball, hitting every overhead, making him run—just doing everything right. It’s important to be silent each day of your life to meditate and reflect, because a lot of creativity comes from it.

Silence keeps you centered”. King was one of the pioneering founders of the WTA Tour and her win against Riggs was a landmark moment not only for women's sports but for all women generally at the time. The match was also made into a Hollywood film recently.