For their journey in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the US soccer team has been sticking to the iconic Billie Jean King mantra. At the Al Bayt Stadium on Friday, England and the USMNT drew 0-0 to split the points.
Tyler Adams, the captain of the US soccer team, used Billie Jean King's quote, "Pressure is a Privilege," last Monday at a press conference before the first World Cup match against Wales.
Billie Jean King took to Twitter to support the USMNT in their match against England:
"Pressure is a Privilege, indeed, and something I've long said about elite athletic competition and life in general. Good luck to the #USMNT!"
"So we fought, during the 60s we fought like crazy" – Billie Jean King on her fight for equality in tennis
In a recent interview, Billie Jean King commented on her playing career, including her tennis equality campaign for men and women. King has a reputation for being a leader in the fight for equal pay in sports, and she addressed this and her earlier attempts to have tennis recognized as a professional sport.
Serena Williams, Borna Coric, and Reilly Opelka were among the tennis stars King sat down with for an interview with Wilson Tennis. Over dinner, they talked about tennis in general, and King reflected on her professional tennis player career and recounted her difficulties.
While there were numerous obstacles, King emphasized that tennis' status as an amateur sport in the 1960s was significant. King and her teammates "fought like crazy" back then about being referred to as "amateur players" despite being the top tennis players in the world.
"In the old days, 75 percent of the tournaments were played on grass, so you guys are experiencing the opposite of what my generation experienced and the generations before I experienced. I only made 14 dollars a day, so it was very different," King said to the players sitting around her during the discussion.
"We were the best players in the world and they were calling us amateurs. Amateur means it's a hobby and pro means you're really good. So we fought, during the 60s we fought like crazy to have a pro sport," she added.
Billie Jean King faced new obstacles in the form of equal pay, while the fight to have tennis recognized as a professional sport was still underway. The issue became apparent when she discovered that she had won Wimbledon and got a lot less prize money than her male competitor Rod Laver.
"In 1960s, at Wimbledon, Rod Laver won 2000 pounds and I won 750 pounds, so I went, 'Oh no, I have two fights. To have the place to play and to make more money.' It's been a long journey but I'm really happy you guys don't have to put up with that. What we fought for was for future generations not to deal with what we were dealing with," she said.