Patt and tennis great Billie Jean King
Sure, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—and she founded the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, Women’s Sports Magazine and co-founded GreenSlam, an environmental initiative for the sports industry and yes, it’s true that she serves on the boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and we can’t forget that she won 39 Grand Slam tennis titles, including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon. But you have to admit, that isn’t what you remember her for, is it? In 1973, Billie Jean King played in and won what many consider the most famous tennis match of all time. Before Isner vs. Mahut came the infamous game dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes” and somehow, her defeat of tennis legend Bobby Riggs brought attention and legitimacy to women’s tennis and to female athletes in a way that nothing before had managed to do. From struggling to get by on $100 a week as a playground instructor to a globally recognized role model for Gender Equality, Patt welcomes Billie Jean King to the court to talk about Title IX, cheerleading as a sport and the wake of her legacy.
Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (1973), and the Women’s Sports Foundation (1974); author of Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes