Tennis legend Billie Jean King has urged women in sports to keep fighting for equality going despite the myriad of setbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at an online panel event titled #WeKeepPlaying and hosted by her Women's Sports Foundation and Yahoo on Saturday night, King said that she hoped to provide comfort and encouragement to the thousands of women in sport and women fighting the equality fight.
"But I also want them to think about the future as well," added the 76-year-old, who has famously waged a battle for equal pay in professional tennis lasting many decades.
King acknowledged the ongoing struggle for women's sports. The 12 time Grand Slam champion said her early goals for women's tennis was to make sure all girls would have a place to compete, that women would be valued more for their accomplishments than their looks, and to ensure female athletes earned enough to make a living.
"Many of these athletes still do not have the dreams and the opportunities that they deserve," she said to the Straits Times. "All of us have a chance here; every single one of us as a leader has a platform to keep pushing forward for future generations."
"We are empowering so many other women across the globe to fight to make things better."
Two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time FIFA Player of the Year, and a three-time Olympian Carli Lloyd also talked about more international players are now pushing to get better collective bargaining agreements. As they start to see more money pumped into the women's game, the 37-year-old Lloyd said: "When you hear about that investment, you see the product on the field. So we need to continue to do that for women's soccer."
- The story of GB Basketball Women's star Joey Leedham-Warner
- The story of WNBA star Amanda Zahui B
- The story of Women's British Basketball League star Ije Ofomata