Tennis legend Billie Jean King marked memorable milestones on Friday, Saturday and Sunday: three amazing days in which she revisited her history, shared her inspiring story with young people, celebrated her ongoing contributions to sport and diversity, and received the honor of a lifetime, one that will be be recognized for generations to come.
Here is a look back, with a little help from Ms. King’s Twitter feed.
On Friday, she shared a photo from the day she and her parents showed up in Houston, Tex. for a tennis match against Bobby Riggs, that became known as “The Battle of the Sexes.”
When my mom, dad, and I arrived at the Houston Astrodome for the #BattleoftheSexes 46 years ago today, I had just one thing on my mind: I had to win. The pressure was enormous, but pressure is a privilege.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 20, 2019
Remember this: No risk, no reward. #GoForIt pic.twitter.com/FhPAEAtA4N
Followers cheered this memory, and one tweeted how much King’s victory on that court meant to her.
Growing up as a lesbian in a very patriarchal household your win became my utopia. Thank you Billie Jean for your courage. ❤️ ️— Stephanie Florio (@playzabach) September 20, 2019
Another follower asked BJK if she’d be at Dodgers Stadium Saturday night, and got a reply. More about that shortly.
Also Friday, King made a trip to Oropeza Elementary School in Long Beach, Calif., where she gave children copies of her book, “I Am Billie Jean King.”
Saturday started with the dedication of the Billie Jean King Main Library in Long Beach, Calif.
Today, the Billie Jean King Main Library in @LongBeachCity opened to the public. Thank you to each person involved with making this tremendous honor possible. It was truly a day I will never forget. #ThankYouLongBeach pic.twitter.com/Aq1h3O8U9g— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 21, 2019
And it ended with a game at Dodgers Stadium with her partner, former tennis pro Ilana Kloss.
Dreams do come true. ⚾️ #GoDodgers pic.twitter.com/swZPLH0tP5— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 22, 2019
Kloss and King are minority owners of the team. And Saturday’s game wasn’t just any ordinary baseball game. It was Billie Jean King Bobblehead Night.
Another special night at Dodger Stadium with @ClaytonKersh22 and the rest of the team. Bobblehead BJK! #GoDodgers pic.twitter.com/jdeLE061lK— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 22, 2019
In addition to signing a select number of the 40-thousand bobbleheads, King also signed autographs at the game. Also in attendance was actor Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers lost to the Colorado Rockies, 4-2.
King and Kloss hoped for a better outcome the next day, when they attended Sunday’s WNBA semi-final game between the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks. The power couple are minority owners in the Sparks and sat courtside in the Walter Pyramid arena at Long Beach State University. The game was moved there because the Sparks’ normal home, Staples Center, wasn’t available.
The Sun swept the Sparks by winning game 3 at LBSU, 78-to-56.
BJK tweeted late Sunday night that even though the ending was not what fans wanted, the team did enjoy “an incredible season.”
The game didn’t end with the outcome @LA_Sparks fans wanted, but an incredible season nonetheless! #LeadTheCharge #WNBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/NSTuYRjy5I— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 23, 2019