9 Billie Jean King Quotes To Inspire You Today

If you’re a tennis player (or a fan of sports in general), chances are good that you’re familiar with Billie Jean King. She’s a tremendous athlete and a famous advocate for women’s and LGBTQ rights.

Within her career, she fought for equal prize money for women and even went as far as to take on the men’s former number #1 player, Bobby Riggs, in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match, portrayed in the popular 2017 movie.

But Billie Jean King’s influence and accomplishments extend far beyond what was detailed in that “Battle of the Sexes” film:

  • In 1966 Billie Jean achieved the title of #1 women’s tennis player in the world. She held that title for five additional years (1967-1968, 171-1972, and 1974).
  • Between 1961 and 1979, Billie Jean won 20 Wimbledon titles, 13 U.S. Open Titles, 4 French Open Titles, and 2 Australian Open titles. Yes, that’s a whopping 39 Grand Slam titles!
  • In 1971, Billie Jean became the first female athlete to earn over $100,000 in prize money.
  • In 1973 she became the first president of the Women’s Tennis Association and lobbied the U.S. Open to become the first major to offer equal prize money for both genders.
  • In 1974, Billie Jean founded the Women’s Sports Foundation, dedicated to creating leaders by providing girls access to sports.
  • In 1981, Billie Jean was publicly outed as a lesbian, and as a result, she lost all of her endorsement deals. Yet, she remained a fierce advocate within the public eye.
  • On August 12, 2009, Billie Jean was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama for her advocacy work on behalf of women and the LGBTQ community.
  • In 2014, she founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to addressing the critical issues required to achieve diverse, inclusive leadership in the workforce.

Today, she still remains completely dedicated to advancing the rights of women--even assisting the champion U.S. Women’s Soccer Team in achieving pay equal to that of the men’s team.

Billie Jean King’s commitment to activism, love and her courage to fight the norm with grace and fortitude makes her a hero to us here at AD LOVE.

She’s famous for her wise quotes and we want to share a few of our favorites with you in hopes that they spark inspiration:

“It's just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let's start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences.”
-Billie Jean King-
“Reputation is what others think about you. What's far more important is character, because that is what you think about yourself.”
-Billie Jean King-
“Don't let anyone define you. You define yourself.”
-Billie Jean King-
"The most important words that have helped me in life, when things have gone right or when things have gone wrong, are 'accept responsibility.'"
-Billie Jean King-
“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.”
-Billie Jean King-
“The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.”
-Billie Jean King-
“Natural talent only determines the limits of your athletic potential. It's dedication and a willingness to discipline your life that makes you great.”
-Billie Jean King-
“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.”
-Billie Jean King-
“Be bold. If you're going to make an error, make a doozy, and don't be afraid to hit the ball."
-Billie Jean King-