Tag Archives: Billie Jean King

One To Watch: Emma Stone Cast As legendary Tennis Player Billie Jean King in ‘Battle Of The Sexes’

Emma Stone’s casting as legendary tennis player Billie Jean King may have caused some head scratching, but this biopic comedy from Little Miss Sunshine duo Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton is piquing interest regardless.

With Steve Carrell as Bobby Riggs, the movie tells the knockout story of the infamous 1973 tennis match between the misogynistic huckster and the then-closeted trailblazer.

With a script by Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy, the supporting cast includes out favorites Alan Cumming and Natalie Morales, as well as Sarah Silverman, Elisabeth Shue, and Andrea Riseborough.

If Battle of the Sexes ends up being a return to form for Faris and Dayton, it could be one of the fall’s biggest hits.

Daily Juice: Soccer Star Abby Wambach Marries Blogger Glennon Doyle Melton

Soccer player Abby Wambach has married her fiance, Christian blogger Glennon Doyle Melton. Much the same way that Wambach and Doyle Melton announced their engagement, the couple took to Instagram to share their newlywed status. (Equallywed)



The trailer for Battle of the Sexes starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell has been released. The film follows the competition between tennis pros Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which captured the zeitgeist back in 1973 when, at 29, the No. 2 ranked King beat the 55-year-old retired former Wimbledon champion. (Variety)

81-year-old actress, Amanda Barrie says she kept quiet about her sexuality throughout her time on British soap, Coronation Street, because she would have been sacked had she come out. (Diva-Magazine)

She said that while friends knew she was bisexual, she lived in constant fear, and was “absolutely terrified” of anyone she worked with finding out.

The fear people went through – me included. Absolute terror. The horror of being found out. And it stayed with me throughout Coronation Street, until I left, because I would have got the sack. It was the attitudes of some people in it. They wouldn’t have worked with you if they knew.”

Evan Rachel Wood and Adam Lambert were the hosted a prom for queer kids and it looked amazing. (Buzzfeed)

The event was held by Buzzfeed and was attended by high school seniors and celebrities, in order to create more safe, celebratory spaces for the LGBT+ community.

And finally Marissa Farina has been Arielle Scarcella tips on how to be a good top in bed.


Women’s Basketball Coaches and Athletes Demand LGBT Inclusiveness

For all of the fouls, steals and on-court rivalries, basketball is a sport that’s all about respect. As a teammate or an opponent you should respect and appreciate the other players on the hardwood no matter who they are.

That’s why it’s so baffling that in many sports (not just basketball), a culture of inclusiveness has not been fostered. Instead, due to a homophobic minority, societal pressures and the very real prospect of losing your job (as is the case in some USA states) LGBT players and coaches feel that they cannot be honest about themselves.

However, something needs to change. Now, in a new campaign by Br{ache the Silence, famous figures from the world of basketball have spoken up campaigning for LGBT inclusiveness in the sport.

In the some three minute video, such faces as Nikki Caldwell (Head Coach at Louisiana State University), Renee Brown (Chief of Basketball Operations, WNBA), Stephanie White (Head Coach of the Indiana Fever), Sheri Murrell (Head Coach at Portland State University), Mary Wooley (Associate Head Coach at University of Hawaii), and ESPN writer Kate Fagan are all present. Discussing their experiences within the world of basketball, they detail how they were afraid of being who they are, how it held them back and how others were reluctant to accept them just because they were queer.


But they aren’t just using the platform to raise awareness. Instead of just bringing the need for inclusiveness to light, BTS say that every $20 donation made to their cause will go towards LGBT training on a college level. While it might seem unusual that they aren’t just going straight to the top and training people at the professional WNBA level, this method makes good sense.

Training the coaches and athletes in college basketball automatically means that those who rise to the professional ranks will have more inclusive mind-sets. These generations of young players will be in the game for years to come and so it will be their words, thoughts and opinions that we’ll be hearing the most.

Click here to read more about the campaign.

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

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

Andy Murray Hires Amélie Mauresmo as His New Coach

Yesterday the Andy Murray, appointed two-time Grand Slam women’s champion and out lesbian Amélie Mauresmo as his New Coach.

The move to appoint Mauresmo – the former Women’s World No 1 is seen as a groundbreaking one, and shows that Andy Murray prepared to think outside the box.

Murray is looking for is someone who can add that little extra input which, at the rarefied level he plays at, can be the difference between winning and losing.

‘I’m excited by the possibilities of the new partnership and Amelie is someone I have always looked up to and admired. She’s faced adversity plenty of times in her career, but was an amazing player and won major titles, including Wimbledon. I have a very strong coaching team already in place, but I think Amelie brings with her experience and tactical expertise and will push us all to improve. Everyone I know talks very highly of Amelie, as a person and coach, and I’m convinced that her joining the team will help us push on – I want to win more grand slams.’

Andy Murray

As Murray has said the presence of a woman can tame the egos that sometimes prevail when you have an all-male team, and that Mauresmo is someone he can respect as she is a proven winner like he is, rather than purely a professional coach who can work as a technician on his game, which is unlikely to radically change anyway at this point of his career.

Andy Murray is not the first male for Mauresmo to coach, she also has experience of coaching Frenchman Michael Llodra in 2010 when he won the Eastbourne ATP event. She was also in the team of Marion Bartoli when she won Wimbledon last year, so she is well qualified on all sides to understand the pressures.

Amélie Mauresmo was an all court player who won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and she is relishing the challenge of taking on such a fascinating individual who always has the capacity to surprise.

‘I’m really excited to be able to work with Andy. He’s an amazingly talented tennis player and I feel I have plenty to offer both him and the team around him. I’m looking forward to getting down to work and helping him win more Grand Slams… Andy contacted me a few weeks ago and we started to talk about this possibility to work, to be working together. It’s not really something that I was thinking doing when I stopped being a tennis player. Then we talked again a little bit more about how to do the things maybe about his game, about different things. We came up with the will from both sides to, yeah, to give it a shot.

Amélie Mauresmo

‘We all know his mother was a big part of his tennis career. I think he’s maybe looking for something different, about emotions and sensitive things. It’s not really interesting for me, this part of the story, to be honest. All I’m interested in is to be able to help him in his goals. That’s about it. The rest is the story for you to write, I guess. But, yeah, for me it’s a challenge. I want to take it.’

It is not unprecedented in tennis for a woman to coach a man. Jimmy Connors was coached by his mother, Gloria. Djokovic’s first coach was a woman, Jelena Gencic. Billie Jean King once coached Tim Mayotte. Andrei Chesnokov, who reached the top 10 in 1991, was coached for his entire career by Tatiana Naumko. While none of the top 30 female players are coached primarily by a woman, 49th-ranked Denis Istomin is coached by his mother, and 54th-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin is coached by his wife. But there are not many examples in other major sports of women coaching men. A few women have been assistant coaches in Division I men’s college basketball. Nancy Lieberman coached in the N.B.A. Development League. Helena Costa was recently hired by Clermont Foot 63, a second-division soccer club in France, becoming the first female manager in one of the top two divisions of Europe’s five major soccer leagues.

Murray has already drawn praise from many figures in the women’s game such as Chris Evert for contemplating having a woman in charge, and now he has followed through on that.


Homophobia in Sports: When Poor Sportsmanship Becomes a Problem

Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean-King blazed trails by being out sportswomen before the majority of today’s out, sports playing ladies could even say the phrase ‘gay rights’. For example, there are several members of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) who proudly wear the ‘out lesbian’ badge next to their Olympic gold medals for football, but these are recent announcements, in part spurred on by the way that was paved before them. The women’s game – any game or sport that is, not just the ‘beautiful’ one – is, by and large, welcoming one of non-heterosexual identities. We have seen the overwhelmingly positive reaction to these stars coming out, but a majority of acceptance does not guarantee no ignorance across every sporting past-time and in the real world, with none of the societal responsibilities granted by the media’s spotlight, things can be far harsher to those who identify as non-heterosexual.

What happens when homophobia makes its way into our real life sports clubs?

We can thrash them. Up, down, left and right, just thrash them with wins until they concede and admit that the non-straight members of the club are wonderful and also wickedly good at tennis/football/whatever their chosen sport may be. Well, it’s easy enough to say that of course but winning the ignorant members into submission could be tricky. Instead, it may be easier to go over their head – is there a club manager or officer or any higher up (we’re talking the money people here) that you can talk to? If there’s one thing that gets club manager’s goats more than rainy days, it’s the threat of a loss of money and a paying customer is still a paying customer even if they happen to be a gay one.

However, if the problem is systematic, what can you do then? The answer isn’t so simple, the deeper the homophobia goes, the higher the action you should (maybe) consider taking. Specifically does your state or country have any anti-discrimination laws in place that combat against this sort of thing? Very often, experiences of homophobia will fall under these laws, especially if actual verbal abuse has been said as that could be classed as harassment, which is technically a crime.

If you’re looking for the other option, the one that ends with the homophobic person in question laughing over a drinks and coming up with new songs to yell about the opposing team, then the best option is usually to talk. Ask the right questions and be understanding that some other people might not be. It’s never your duty to make other people comfortable but sometimes, their ignorance comes from a place of misunderstanding and not hatred. But that said, if talking doesn’t work and there seems to be no other option, take it to the courts, give them a thrashing and get the hard earned victory that you deserve.

7 Lesbian Athletes Who Stood Up for Gay Rights

Here’s a list of seven openly gay women behind some of the most crucial milestones in the LGBT sports world. These women have helped challenge this sexist double standard, and show that both genders have made equal progress for LGBT rights in sports.

Billie Jean King – Tennis, USA

In 1981, the tennis star Billie Jean King became the most prominent openly gay female athlete upon revealing her relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett. Unfortunately, King was unable to come out on her own terms, as a palimony lawsuit filed by Barnett brought their relationship into the public eye. However, King is now an icon in LGBT community, recently selected by President Obama to serve on the U.S. delegation to the Olympics.

Martina Navratilova – Tennis, USA

Shorty after the outing of her on-court rival Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova followed King’s suit by revealing her sexual orientation in a column in the Dallas Morning News. Unlike King, Martina came out on her own terms, setting a precedent for many LGBT athletes to come.

Patty Sheehan – Golf, USA

Patty Sheehan is one of the most successful female golfers of all time, winning the LPGA tour on 35 occasions, including six major victories. Her golfing prowess earned her a spot in the Golf Hall of Fame, and her decision to become one of the first female golfers to come out as gay has made her an influential spokeswoman for lesbian athletes.

Sheryl Swoops – Basketball, USA

When WNBA star Sheryl Swoops became one of the first African-American female athletes to come out as gay in 2005, she was arguably the most famous athlete ever to do so in American professional sports. Swoops is a three-time WNBA MVP, one of the league’s founding players and perhaps its greatest talent. She is currently the head women’s basketball coach at Loyola University in Chicago.

Brittany Griner – Basketball, USA

The most recent openly gay female athlete in the sports world is current WNBA center Brittany Griner. Griner was perhaps the greatest female college basketball player of all time at Baylor University, where she gained notoriety from her dominant statistics and her rare ability to dunk in the women’s game. In the interview in which she publicly came out, Griner detailed the bullying she endured growing up because of her sexual orientation. She is now one of the leading advocates of anti-bullying in schools, especially when directed at the LGBT community.

Megan Rapinoe – Footbal, USA

Megan Rapinoe gained her first foray into the public spotlight following her stellar performance as a midfielder on the U.S Women’s National Footbal Team silver medal effort at the 2011 World Cup. Following the tournament, Rapinoe revealed her relationship with a fellow female soccer player to Out magazine. Her courage and advocacy for gay rights earned her a board of directors award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in 2012.

Leigh-Ann Naidoo – Volleyball, South African

Naidoo was a member of the South African women’s volleyball team in the 2004 summer Olympic games. Though not a household name, Naidoo became the first African ambassador to the Gay Games, a landmark achievement for a continent not known for its progressive attitudes about gay rights.