Billie Jean King Quotes (54 Quotes)


    I didn't really care if I had a coach that much, me personally, because I was brought up to think for myself.

    When we reach the point where the women athletes are getting their pick of dates just as easily as the men athletes, then we've really and truly arrived. Parity at last!

    Be bold. If you're going to make an error, make a doozy, and don't be afraid to hit the ball.

    It's fun to meet people from throughout the world who you don't have to explain yourself to.

    I think younger players probably just think they are who they are-they don't think about coming out. Unless you're number one in the world, nobody cares, usually.


    I knew after my first lesson what I wanted to do with my life.

    Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life.

    Women get the attention when we get into the men's arena, and that's sad.

    Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquillity.


    It's really impossible for athletes to grow up. On the one hand, you're a child, still playing a game. But on the other hand, you're a superhuman hero that everyone dreams of being. No wonder we have such a hard time understanding who we are.

    I like putting money back into what made my life, and tennis has been great to me.

    In the seventies we had to make it acceptable for people to accept girls and women as athletes. We had to make it okay for them to be active. Those were much scarier times for females in sports.




    I will tell you King's First Law of Recognition: You never get it when you want it, and then when it comes, you get too much.

    Martina's gone with people who don't want to be out, and it drives her crazy because she'd rather be open.

    I was always in the tennis business-from 1968. I was in tournaments and also on World Team Tennis teams as well.

    When they take surveys of women in business, of the Fortune 500, the successful women, 80% of them, say they were in sports as a young woman.

    I always liked co-ed events best so we have two men and two women on each team.

    I used to be told if I talked about my sexuality in any way that we wouldn't have a tennis tour.

    Everyone has people in their lives that are gay, lesbian or transgender or bisexual. They may not want to admit it, but I guarantee they know somebody.

    Men still get a lot more opportunity. It is still a big part of the old boy network. They have more companies they can get money from.

    I think it's impossible to judge whether another person should come out. You just hope they will on their own time and their own terms.

    Women's sports is still in its infancy. The beginning of women's sports in the United States started in 1972, with the passage of Title 9 for girls to finally get athletic scholarships.


    Men can have a huge turnover of sponsorship and still survive a lot better than the women. But the women's ratings are better, at least at home in the United States than in the men's tennis.

    A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.

    It's just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let's start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences.

    That is where the power, opportunity, and choice come from-when you have money. Money equals opportunity. There is no question.

    The trouble with being number one in the world in anything is that it takes a certain mentality to attain that position, and that is something of a driving, perfectionist attitude, so that once you do achieve number one, you don't relax and enjoy it.



    I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.

    In 1973, a woman could not get a credit card without her husband or father or a male signing off on it.

    It is very hard to be a female leader. While it is assumed that any man, no matter how tough, has a soft side... and female leader is assumed to be one-dimensional.

    A girl didn't get an athletic scholarship until the fall of 1972 for the very first time.

    I like entrepreneurial people; I like people who take risks.

    The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.


    If your partner wants to be private, you have to respect that.

    I love to promote our sport. I love grass-roots tennis. I love coaching. I love all parts of the sport. I love the business side.

    Any therapist will tell you that when you're ready, you will come out. To be outed means you weren't ready.

    The old boy network is still very strong and very true. Just look at the stock exchange and how many men and women are there. It is still very much run by men.

    In 1973, women got 59 cents on the dollar; now we are getting 74 cents on the dollar. In the area of finance and business, we are at 68 cents on the dollar.

    Ever since that day when I was 11 years old, and I wasn't allowed in a photo because I wasn't wearing a tennis skirt, I knew that I wanted to change the sport.

    I would love to be a player today. I had the right personality for it.

    Martina and I went through a very bad five years. Everything's very good between us now, but it was a long haul.

    There is no life for girls in team sports past Little League. I got into tennis when I realized this, and because I thought golf would be too slow for me, and I was too scared to swim.


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