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Billie Jean King goes ‘All In’ on tennis and women’s equality

Billie Jean King goes ‘All In’ on tennis and women’s equality

While reading tennis legend Billie Jean King’s unflinchingly honest new autobiography, “All In: An Autobiography,” one message becomes clear: To inspire change, you have to first make a racket. Now in her late 70s, the former No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world, who long ago proved her reach extends far beyond the tennis court, doesn’t hold back, declaring, “Even if you’re not a born activist, life can … sure make you one.”

The book’s title refers to King’s determination to stick with something once she makes up her mind. It’s what led her to commit to tennis despite the fact that women’s sports were treated infinitely less seriously than men’s, and even top players were expected to leave the game in their prime, get married, and have children. 

Although she did marry Larry King, a fellow tennis player from California State University Los Angeles in 1965 (the two are no longer married, but he’s still a close friend), she didn’t let societal pressures dissuade her from her goals. 

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