Billie Jean: "Sport is so deeply connected to our society, we have to always speak up for injustice"
PeaceJourney.com and sponsorKIDS Charities had the tremendous opportunity of working with Billie Jean King and Elton John at World Team Tennis as a way to bring sports to the HIVAIDS Pandemic. Both are still in the fight for justice. It it with great respect I share this article, (In full at the link below along with photo with Randy, Elton, Bille Jean and Jeannette.)
As an athlete, I’ve always believed that sport is a microcosm of society. From day one at BJKLI, we channeled that same mentality and determination to encourage our corporate partners to step up and make change. We work with so many amazing organizations like Jopwell (a diversity hiring startup) and others that have so many talented Black and Latinx people who are open to corporate opportunities. There is no excuse for organizations to be made up of one majority. We must drive diversity and support inclusion. It is good business. Melinda: From the U.S. women’s soccer team and their quest for equal pay to WNBA player Maya Moore and her quest to free an innocent man from prison, we have seen one example after another of women athletes taking important stands for social progress. How does it make you feel to see the next generation of athletes use their platforms for causes like these? Do you think these women are getting the attention they’re due? Billie Jean: Sport is so deeply connected to our society that we have to always speak up for injustice and use our platforms for social change. Fifty years ago this year, nine women, known as the “Original 9,” signed $1 contracts with Gladys Heldman, then the publisher of World Tennis Magazine, and that is the birth of women’s professional tennis as we know it today. Women’s professional tennis is the leader in women’s sports. Without the sacrifices we faced and the barriers we overcame, we would not have women making millions of dollars for winning the U.S. Open or Wimbledon, and we would not have equal prize money at the four major tournaments on today’s tennis schedule.
A fan holds up a sign that says "Equal Play Equal Pay" in support of the United States
The Original 9 knew the nine of us would not be the real beneficiaries of our actions. We had a vision for the future that any woman in the world, if she were good enough, would have a chance to compete, to be recognized for her accomplishments and not just her looks, and to be able to make a living playing professional tennis. Today, the same challenges are being faced by women athletes around the globe. From soccer to hockey to basketball and beyond, these women are still fighting for equal pay, equal access, and equal opportunities. All genders need to invest more in women’s sports to bring about growth. They deserve more. They deserve better. They deserve our respect, our support, and our investment.
Full Story here.....