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French Open Honors Billie Jean King

By Charlotte Robinson, June 06, 2022

Tennis legend & LGBTQ icon Billie Jean King received the Legion of Honor France’s highest civilian honor at the French Open. King who was in attendance received the award in recognition of her contributions to women’s sports, gender equality & the rights of LGBTQ people in athletics. She accepted the award at the presidential Elysee Palace where French President Emmanuel Macron was in attendance. King then returned to the main clay court at the Paris tennis complex that hosts the French Open for a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of winning the 1972 tournament title. However there was a bit of controversy at the tournament which King addressed claiming that women tennis players were treated as ‘second-class citizens’ in the scheduling at the 2022 French Open. King stated, "You want to make everyone feel important. They should have the same amount of women's matches as they do men's. Real easy. If they keep treating us like second-class citizens we will stay second-class citizens. We should have more matches, but I think Amelie will take care of that next year. Knowing her, she's a winner." Referring to two-time Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo who is the current tournament director at the French Open & had to apologize for describing women’s matches as ‘less appealing’ than men’s. King has continued to be a champion of women especially transgender women. In 2020 King was one of 174 other female athletes who signed an amicus brief in support of transgender girls & women playing sports as their gender identity. Remembering King’s famous quote, “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed.”

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