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Tennis Player Quotes:
Billie Jean King Quotes
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )
March 15, 2016: “Few people have had the historical significance, lasting impact, and the unqualified love of tennis as Bud Collins. He was an outstanding journalist, an entertaining broadcaster, and as our historian, he never let us forget or take for granted the rich history of our sport.”
—Tennis legend Billie Jean King, paying tribute to Bud Collins, who passed away March 3 at age 86.June 28, 2015: “The most important thing you want for people is to be their authentic self. Whatever that is, whoever you are, you want that. And I'm really happy for Caitlyn because it seems like she's finally going to be who she wants to be. There's probably somebody gay in every family. There's a lot of kids who are transgender. . . . People have to have compassion and understanding. This is life, and you have to understand that it's okay.”
— Billie Jean King, talking to the Boston Herald Radio’s "Fargo Street" program about former track superstar Bruce Jenner's transgender transition to Caitlyn Jenner after her highly publicized and widely viewed sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC.Nov 1, 2014: “This is what we dreamed about. When there were nine of us in 1970, signed a $1 contract. It was the birth of women’s professional tennis. I just think it’s wonderful they’re living the dream. I would love to be their age today and playing in this. It’s so exciting. It’s like your stage if you’re an actor or performer.”
— Tennis legend Billie Jean King, the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and one of the first advocates for equal prize money for male and female players, pleased and proud that the WTA Finals has grown into a prestigious, $6 million tournament.May 03, 2013: "We've got to get rid of the shame. That's the main thing. And Jason's going to help that. He's going to help give people courage to come out. I guarantee you he's going to feel much lighter, much freer. The truth does set you free, there's no question. It doesn't mean it's easy. But it sets you free."
— Billie Jean King, tennis legend and longtime civil rights activist, who confirmed she was gay after being outed in the early 1980s, talking to the Associated Press recently about NBA veteran Jason Collins, who turned away from years of worry and silence to become the first active player in one of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay.October 6, 2009: "The basic lack of the unity that existed in my playing days. Too many players just seem to think about themselves."
— Women's tennis pioneer Billie Jean King, on the worst thing about the game today, in The Sunday Times (UK).September 11 , 2007: "Pound for pound she is the best athlete I've ever seen. She's incredible and she continues to get better."
— Tennis legend Billie Jean King with high praise for Justine Henin after the 5'5¾”, 126-pound Belgian won the U.S. Open for her seventh Grand Slam crown.April 17, 2007: "I think it's very hard to be an American and understand what it feels like to be a Russian who plays tennis wearing layers of clothes in the snow. Kids in America, let's face it, we have the most unbelievable life in this country, and that's why it's still the greatest country for opportunity. But once you get to fourth-, fifth-, sixth-generation Americans, I think we can say we're all a little softer."
- Tennis legend Billy Jean King, on why American tennis is in crisis, in The Philadelphia Inquirer.March 1, 2007: "I think it was definitely hard for them to change because of the culture and the psyche behind it, but I'm relieved that they finally got there. But remember, it's not about the money, it's about the message it sends to women and girls around the world. Every time we can change a benchmark like this, it helps people ask in their daily life, 'Are we insisting on equality for our sons and daughters?' So that makes it a very important moment in history."
- Billie Jean King,a pioneer for equal rights in sports, on Wimbledon's long-overdue decision to award equal prize money for men and women at this year's championships.August 6, 2006: "This is a show of faith and respect. And with it a sense of responsibility. I don't think I'll ever comprehend this. It's like, 'Oy vey, the responsibility.' I'm glad I'm still living. I'm not finished."
- Billy Jean King, tennis pioneer and all-time great, after learning the United States Tennis Association is adding her name to the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in The New York Times.June 16, 2005: Sharapova making the kind of money [reportedly $25 million in endorsements this year] she does is great. But there is a trade-off for these girls. They have financial security. But what sort of legacy will they leave? Everything is about outer success. When I was 15, I wanted to be the best at something. Girls today want to be famous. I think all of us realize something isnt quite right with that."
Billie Jean King, all-time great and women's tennis pioneer, in ESPN The Magazine
"I feel that tennis is an art form that is capable of moving the players and the audience - at least a knowledgeable audience-in almost sensual ways.. When I'm performing at my absolute best, I think that some of the euphoria I feel must be transmitted to the audience."
- Billie Jean King
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