Billie Jean King | News | Sports | Stephen Colbert | Tennis

Stephen Colbert Volleys with Billie Jean King: VIDEO


Out tennis legend Billie Jean King rattles Stephen Colbert in a discussion of her 'Battle of the Sexes' match against Bobby Riggs which captivated America in 1973. King is now the subject of an American Masters episode.

Says King: "I always want both genders to champion each other. I just think it's really important. I know it's really idealistic but I don't care. Our job in this world is to help each other and champion each other and we're in this world together so let's make the best of it!"

Colbert also asks her about being in the closet when she was a tennis pro. He asks her if it ever upset her when a line judge, yelled "Out!"

"Yes," she replies.


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  1. Love. Her.

    Posted by: don with a "D" | Sep 11, 2013 10:43:33 AM

  2. Ms King, you've been colbert-ed and it may have done you a world of good. For all the good you've done, which is considerable, such as passage of title IX which made male and female sports funding equal at public institutions, you were never fun until now. American Masters and PBS made wise choice.

    Posted by: Cd in Dc | Sep 11, 2013 10:51:05 AM

  3. I was pretty annoyed when Colbert called it a "sexual preference". I know it's a bit more fluid for women compared to men, but I still think "orientation" is the better term in almost all circumstances. Calling it a "preference" implies that it's choice. Realizing that it's not a choice is the cornerstone of understanding and acceptance.

    Posted by: Rich | Sep 11, 2013 11:00:07 AM

  4. It would be wonderful to see more of her on television. I did see the PBS American Masters last night and it was great. I hope see her do the talk show circuit - she is incredibly glib and funny. She was married to a handsome blond hunk when she was outed - hard to understand why she would be married but back then if you wanted legitimacy in the sports world you married outside your preference. A charming woman who deserves much more admiration. Watch the PBS special. Here was an incredible athlete who fascinated the world, was well-loved and admired, and she was gay.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Sep 11, 2013 11:04:24 AM

  5. wonderful book tv interview with BJK. Class act all the way.

    Posted by: jak | Sep 11, 2013 11:59:05 AM

  6. @Rich - yeah, the "sexual preference" note stopped me but I just believe Colbert had a hard time keeping in character over his thrill to be with Billie Jean and the toggling between character and person was jarring.

    Otherwise what a charming interview with two of my heroes.

    Posted by: io | Sep 11, 2013 12:19:19 PM

  7. Autoplay ads are sure messing up the experience.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Sep 11, 2013 1:46:47 PM

  8. She is SUPER COOL!!!!!

    Posted by: pickles | Sep 12, 2013 1:16:31 AM

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