#FromtheArchives: Billie Jean King's belligerence
A smattering of tennis archival fun, feat. BJK.
So. As some of you know, this U.S. Open marks the 50th anniversary of the tournament offering equal pay to men and women.
Well, “offering” is a bit of a spin. What happened is, Billie Jean King secured $55,000 from Ban deodorant to cover the prize-money gap between the men’s and women’s events, presented it to the U.S. Open tournament organizers, and the men in charge didn’t turn it down. What heroes.
Well, since this is Power Plays and I have this #FromtheArchives series, I naturally wondered just how the media covered the announcement way back in 1973. And naturally, because tangents are my thing, searching for those articles led me to a few others I want to share. So today we’ve got a smattering of newspaper clippings from the early ‘70s, all related to Billie Jean King. We’re going to look at the AP article about the equal pay announcement, read a wide-ranging profile of King, and revisit another way that King trailblazed off the court, this time in talking about her abortion openly. Then, at the end, I’ve got an excerpt from one of the weirdest women’s tennis previews I’ve ever encountered.
Okay, friends. Let’s do this.