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Photo courtesy of dpa-Sportreport.


by Peter Biľak

In 1967, when Billie Jean King won three titles at Wimbledon she received a £45 gift voucher, and although it was £45 more than she’d received for her first two Wimbledon victories, she knew that the men were being paid much more. In 1970 she led a group of nine women players in a boycott of a tournament that offered them 1/12th of the prize money to be awarded to the men, and launched the first women-only tournament in protest. She later campaigned for Title IX, anti-discrimination legislation that has put women’s sports on a more equal footing with men’s sports in American schools, and went on to found the Women’s Tennis Association to give female players a voice. She was also one of the first openly gay athletes and has fought to make the sports world and the wider public more open, equal and accepting.

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