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Billie Jean King Talks About Tennis and The Progress of Gay Athletes

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Billie Jean King is currently attending event surround the U.S. Open, but had some time to praise a new crop of openly gay athletes.

King, who was outed in 1981, said progress comes “one by one” and “you just keep chipping away.” She said openly gay athletes, including Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner and Michael Sam, have recently paved the way for equality.

She also went on to say the more gay athletes we have, the more issue of being gay in sport will decrease.

“One of the biggest things that would help is if one of the quarterbacks who is straight, or all collectively say, `This is a non-issue. Let’s get on with it. As long as they do their job, we don’t care’… 

The Bradys, the Lucks, the Romos, Payton Manning, Eli Manning, if all those guys would just say – `This is so ridiculous, as long as the guy can play, we don’t care what color, what sexual orientation.’

If the media stops talking about it, it will be helpful. The reason we cover it, it’s an exception. That’s the way the world works, the way the news works.”

Billie Jean King

As one of the first inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, King believes less scrutiny on LGBTI players from the press would help.

‘If the media stops talking about it, it will be helpful. The reason we cover it, it’s an exception. That’s the way the world works, the way the news works.’

Billie Jean King

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