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Just thought I'd share this article I was fortunate enough to be able to put together with the blessing of Billie Jean King back in 1995. Sorry about the scan quality- I realize it's very difficult to read, but the photo and signature are recognizable, and it's been in a stack of tennis papers in storage since 1995. As I stated in another post, she is one of my heroes, and while I've never agreed with everything she's said (who has?), I have nothing but respect for this great lady. She is the single reason why I picked up a tennis racquet back in 1974, and why I never stop trying to GO FOR IT!
 

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alfajeffster said:
Just thought I'd share this article I was fortunate enough to be able to put together with the blessing of Billie Jean King back in 1995. Sorry about the scan quality- I realize it's very difficult to read, but the photo and signature are recognizable, and it's been in a stack of tennis papers in storage since 1995. As I stated in another post, she is one of my heroes, and while I've never agreed with everything she's said (who has?), I have nothing but respect for this great lady. She is the single reason why I picked up a tennis racquet back in 1974, and why I never stop trying to GO FOR IT!
I agree. Billie Jean without question did a lot for tennis and she really did open up a lot of doors for women athletes. Way back in the Stone Age known as the 70's I played guard for my high school basketball team. Now for a guy that would be considered the norm, not so for a girl. I still remember one day when we girls dared to practice on the courts and one of the cheerleaders came walking by and just sneered at us. Often times our worst critics were other females. It gets into that whole thing about can you play sports and still be all woman thing. :cuckoo: Margaret Court in her book dwelled on that topic. Over and over she wrote about how she stayed a woman etc. As if swinging a racquet is going to cause you to turn into a guy. I've been reading a lot of old newspapers from the 1930's and Alice Marble was constantly called a "tomboy" and her game was also called "masculine." Not only that the press was always sort of playing her off the more girlish Kay Stammmers. Just like the press did with Martina and Chris. This players is beautiful and more a real women than this player over here etc. And of course the press is always hinting about the "lesbian" thing too. Anyway, Billie Jean is also one of the reasons I started playing sports too. So, :hatoff: to BJK
 

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RoanHJ said:
I agree. Billie Jean without question did a lot for tennis and she really did open up a lot of doors for women athletes. Way back in the Stone Age known as the 70's I played guard for my high school basketball team. Now for a guy that would be considered the norm, not so for a girl. I still remember one day when we girls dared to practice on the courts and one of the cheerleaders came walking by and just sneered at us. Often times our worst critics were other females. It gets into that whole thing about can you play sports and still be all woman thing. :cuckoo: Margaret Court in her book dwelled on that topic. Over and over she wrote about how she stayed a woman etc. As if swinging a racquet is going to cause you to turn into a guy. I've been reading a lot of old newspapers from the 1930's and Alice Marble was constantly called a "tomboy" and her game was also called "masculine." Not only that the press was always sort of playing her off the more girlish Kay Stammmers. Just like the press did with Martina and Chris. This players is beautiful and more a real women than this player over here etc. And of course the press is always hinting about the "lesbian" thing too. Anyway, Billie Jean is also one of the reasons I started playing sports too. So, :hatoff: to BJK
I'll never forget an argument I had with my older sister after the Riggs/King match in the mid-70s. We were discussing favorite tennis players, because this was the tennis boom, and even though my older sister didn't play tennis (or do anything more athletic than march in the high school color guard), she had her favorites. She thought Chris Evert was great, and when I mentioned I liked Billie Jean King, it drew a look of consternation from my big sis (you have to know the look- she was a good-looking blonde barbie doll who did and said all the right things, and yes, her name was Deb, as in debutante). I asked her what was wrong with Billie Jean? She simply made this strong-arm mime character (like a muscle-bound weight lifter) and puffed out her cheeks, and it was obvious to me even at that early age we were having a cross-purpose conversation!:lol:
 

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alfajeffster said:
I'll never forget an argument I had with my older sister after the Riggs/King match in the mid-70s. We were discussing favorite tennis players, because this was the tennis boom, and even though my older sister didn't play tennis (or do anything more athletic than march in the high school color guard), she had her favorites. She thought Chris Evert was great, and when I mentioned I liked Billie Jean King, it drew a look of consternation from my big sis (you have to know the look- she was a good-looking blonde barbie doll who did and said all the right things, and yes, her name was Deb, as in debutante). I asked her what was wrong with Billie Jean? She simply made this strong-arm mime character (like a muscle-bound weight lifter) and puffed out her cheeks, and it was obvious to me even at that early age we were having a cross-purpose conversation!:lol:
The funny thing is Billie Jean wasn't even all that big. Especially, compared to the big babes of today.
 

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RoanHJ said:
The funny thing is Billie Jean wasn't even all that big. Especially, compared to the big babes of today.
The term "bigger than life" comes to mind. That and the fiery traits I've seen in the eyes of every Irish girl I've ever met.:lol:
 

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Jeff, thanks for sharing the article. BJK may not go down as the best tennis player, but she and Chris Evert are probably the most significant ones.

Roan, considering I have neices that play basketball and softball, I can appreciate your experiences. I get over to Athens to see the UGA Lady Dawgs as much as I can. It's so great to see so many girls getting scholarship opportunities these days.
 
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