Tennis pioneer and queer rights activist Billie Jean King and her girlfriend of 39 years, Ilana Kloss, will be announced as minority owners of the Dodgers during the team’s Friday game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.
In a statement Thursday, King said she was honored to be part of Los Angeles Dodgers ownership, whom she called proven leaders in sports.
KING, DODGERS, LGBTQ
”We share a commitment to equality and inclusion, including the LGBTQ community, and we hope to further expand the team’s efforts in those areas as we move forward together.”
Growing up in Long Beach, King, 74, was a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers even though her brother, Randy Moffitt, pitched for 12 seasons in the majors, mostly for the San Francisco Giants.
The King and Kloss will join basketball great Magic Johnson in ownership through the Guggenheim Baseball Management Group. King and Kloss will also become part owners of the WNBA’s Sparks, once approval comes through. That ownership group is also run by Guggenheim.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 20, 2018
BILLIE JEAN KING ACHIEVEMENTS
King has been a trailblazer for decades.
- On Sept. 20, 1973, at 29, King played in the “Battle of the Sexes” match in the Houston Astrodome, against 55 year-old former Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs. King won the match in straight sets and the $100,000 winner-takes-all price. The film “Battle of the Sexes” was released last year in theaters and on DVD in January. Oscar winner Emma Stone portrays King.
- King won 39 major singles, doubles and mixed-doubles tennis championships during more than 30-year tennis career, including a record 20 wins at Wimbledon.
- King raised eyebrows on the court when she wore Ted Tinling’s designer fashions.
- King is founder of the Women’s Tennis Association.
- King threatened to boycott the 1973 US Open if equal prize money was not awarded. King’s fight for equal prize money in the Grand Slams took 34 years — In 2007, Wimbledon became the last of the four to fall to agree.
- In 2014, King and Kloss co-founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which addresses diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- King is under consideration for a Congressional Gold Medal
DODGERS BREAK BARRIERS
- The Dodgers also have broken barriers.
- The Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player in Major League Baseball.
- Dodges signed Major League Baseball’s first Japanese player, Hideo Nomo.
- The Dodgers host an LGBTQ Night at Dodger Stadium.
- Former Dodger Glenn Burke is credited with helping create the high five. He also was the first major league baseball player to come out as gay.