Billie Jean King: This tennis icon paved the way for women in sports
Billie Jean King - Tennis legend and activist
Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam titles during her tennis career, and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. Full bio
the video again of the match,
like the fate of the world's women
he was the former number one player,
actually, because I respected him.
and especially my dad always said:
and never underestimate them, ever."
He was absolutely correct.
whenever we announced it,
was on my shoulders.
to put women back 50 years, at least."
the year before -- June 23, 1972.
a one-dollar contract in 1970 --
third year of having a tour
have a place to compete and make a living.
that one-dollar contract.
born any place in the world --
and for us to make a living.
we made 14 dollars a day,
to break away from that.
about our generation so much;
the future generations.
that came before us, there is no question.
has the chance to make it better.
the hearts and minds to Title IX.
which a lot of people probably don't,
to a high school, college or university,
give equal monies to boys and girls.
to match up with it.
in the hearts and minds.
to ask for a raise.
10, 15 years to ask.
did you get it?"
or whatever, late 40s,
of the Women's Movement --
they'd come up to me --
who have tears in their eyes,
when I saw that match,
as a young man."
at 12 years old, was President Obama.
when I met him, he said:
but I saw that match at 12.
in how I raise them."
out of it, but different things.
at least one or two --
along the way made possible.
who have also experienced teamwork.
in a way they hadn't before.
in terms of being an athlete,
to lobby for equal pay for women athletes
to an epiphany I had at 12.
tennis player in the world,
and I said, "What's that?"
basketball was, other sports.
to play in tournaments
at the end of the year.
at the Los Angeles Tennis Club,
and how tiny it was,
wore white shoes, white clothes,
everybody who played was white.
"Where is everyone else?"
for equal rights and opportunities
the rest of my life.
enough to become number one --
it would be harder to have influence,
that very few people have had."
to make it -- this was only 12.
is a whole other discussion.
and I really try to keep my word.
just fighting for people.
where did they have to go?
hear your own voice.
keep coming out all the time,
because I had an education.
you can be it, you know?
you look at other leaders,
look at yourself,
has inspired so many women everywhere.
about is women taking their voice,
into leadership positions.
about is even bigger than that.
thinking more inclusively --
Look at the technology!
It's about connection.
what's possible because of it.
and trying to change it,
and be their authentic selves.
a perfect example.
gets up an hour earlier to go to work,
probably four, five, six times a day
to keep making sure she fits in.
whatever that may be,
his poverty as a youngster, ever --
he was well-educated.
who has an NFL --
for all of you out there,
and he didn't want anybody to know.
to be their authentic self 24/7,
I catch myself to this day.
you know, like,
a little surge in my gut,
comfortable in my own skin.
whatever that is, just let it be.
the Leadership Initiative did showed that,
of being authentic.
is this millennial generation,
equal opportunities --
but exist everywhere --
a strategic company that's amazing.
I'm able to do this.
really behind me with power.
with Philip Morris with Virginia Slims,
in my entire life.
they're so fantastic about is --
"Oh, we're going to get representation."
you see everybody represented.
which is so good!
they want connection, engagement.
what you're feeling, what you're thinking,
the information at your fingertips,
there is really an inclusive work force?
75 percent of the global workforce
to help solve problems.
the wherewithal to do it.
and they can make big things happen.
with the young people,
in the research about millennials
of people have with millennials.
OK, I've been doing my little mini-survey.
who are their bosses, and I go,
about the environment
they cannot focus."
for an 18-year-old is 37 seconds.
and she has these workers.
just starting -- she goes,
because I'm at the hairdresser's."
sorry, how's it going?"
I'd like you leave, you're finished."
scares the boomers --
so I think it's good for us to share.
and what we're really feeling,
both ways, you know?
being the advocates for Title IX still,
to keep protecting the law,
what Title IX stands for worldwide.
talk about how Title IX is protected.
have gone up against --
the hearts and minds --
to match the legislation is huge.
for equality, extending it,
trying to find new ways ... ?
because I was always the curious one.
a Major League Baseball player.
if we were any good.
we wanted to be the best.
I'm hearing today in TED talks.
90 years old, by the way,
out that I would never --
to get a list out of these figures."
I mean, that's amazing, I'm sorry.
President Mary Robinson,
on same-sex marriage,
are very hard to hear.
every one of us is an individual,
their authentic life.
the needle forward, always.
in the world, plus the people here --
an inspiration for us.
About the speaker:Billie Jean King - Tennis legend and activist
Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam titles during her tennis career, and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice.
Why you should listen
Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine and honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and the co-founder of World TeamTennis. She founded the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association. In August 2006, the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in honor of her accomplishments, both on and off the court.
King grew up playing tennis in California public parks and won 39 Grand Slam titles during her career. She defeated Bobby Riggs in one of the greatest moments in sports history, the Battle of the Sexes on Sept. 20, 1973. She now serves on the boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Andy Roddick Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
Billie Jean King | Speaker | TED.com