Pressure Is A Privilege and Other Life Lessons
King draws on her rich history in and out of sports to share a lifetime of breaking barriers and opening doors all in an effort to secure equal rights for all.
A Conversation with Billie Jean King
The living legend shares a lifetime of stories about equality, inclusion and the importance of connecting with others.
Lift, Learn, Lead
With the millennial generation expected to be 75% of the global workforce by 2025, King looks at the unique opportunity in the workplace for generations past, present and future to work together in an inclusive environment.
Tennis Legend and Social Activist Billie Jean King is named to Sports Illustrated Unrelenting List
Sports Illustrated has recognized BILLIE JEAN KING on their Unrelenting List of the most powerful, most influential and most outstanding women in sports right now—the game-changers who are speaking out, setting the bar and making a difference. Here is what they said of King:
"A true icon and one of the most renowned tennis players in history, King has dedicated her life to fighting for change and equality, using her on-court skills to garner respect and recognition for female athletes and her activism to help pass Title IX and secure opportunities for the women in sports today. King is the first female athlete to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the first woman to have a namesake major sporting venue, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York; and, most recently, the International Tennis Federation reamed its annual team competition the “Billie Jean King Cup” in her honor."
In the years since and at age 76, King has not ceased her social change efforts but intensified them, continuing to fight for equal pay in sports, leading the work of the Women's Sports Foundation and serving as a mentor and role model for the next generation of women determined to create change.
Virtual Programming: Billie Jean King on leadership and resiliency during challenging times
As one of the 20th century's most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King is a leader in and beyond the world of sports, who provides empowering and actionable lessons on leadership, equality, and finding your purpose, even in the most challenging of circumstances. Amid the coronavirus, King has been sought-out for multiple, creative virtual programs from major company conferences to non-profit galas, providing bold inspiration and keen insight into resiliency, finding creative outlets as we all adjust to social distancing, and the kind of leadership the world needs most right now. She's engaged in a virtual fireside chat at the Salesforce World Tour event on responsible and inclusive leadership, which was livestreamed to over 7,000 people; hosted a special live event dubbed #WeKeepPlaying in an effort to engage and inspire young athletes during the stress and isolation of the pandemic; led a History at Home lesson for the History Channel; and much more. Named one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by Life and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King moves virtual audiences with her candor and passion.
As one of the 20th century's most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social justice and equality. She has created new inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today.
King, who won an astounding 39 Grand Slam titles during her career, blazed trails for women everywhere in 1970 when she became one of nine players to break away from the tennis establishment and accept a one dollar contract from tennis promoter Gladys Heldman to compete in the newly created Virginia Slims Series. The revolt led to the birth of women's pro tennis and the formation of the Women's Tennis Association.
In 1973, King produced one of the greatest moments in sports history when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the famous match dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes.”
The Riggs-King match took place at the Houston Astrodome, and garnered huge publicity. In front of more than 30,000 spectators and a worldwide television audience estimated at 50 million people in 37 countries, 29-year-old King beat the 55-year-old Riggs 6–4, 6–3, 6–3. It still remains one of the most viewed sports events of all time, and the story is now a major motion picture starring Emma Stone as Billie, and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs.
In 1974, King co-founded World TeamTennis, a mixed-gender professional tennis league, and remained heavily involved with the league for over 40 years, selling her majority ownership stake in 2017.
She currently owns the Philadelphia Freedoms and heads up the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. She also serves on the executive boards of the Women's Sports Foundation (which she founded) and Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).
Named one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by Life and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King was honored on August 28, 2006, when the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
She is also the author of Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes to commemorate the 35th anniversary of that historic match.