Billie Jean King Makes Her Mark

Last year AMERICAN MASTERS did a fantastic profile on Billie Jean King.  We received lots of viewer comments about the program and many requests for us to air it again.  As the APT tennis season heats up with the The French Open and Wimbledon coming up in the next couple months, we felt now would be a good time to take another look at AMERICAN MASTERS: BILLIE JEAN KING.

Billie Jean King is the first sports figure ever featured by AMERICAN MASTERS.  Taking a look at her career and what she did for woman’s tennis this was a good choice for AMERICAN MASTERS.  The program is about a very deliberate woman who has been a major force in changing and democratizing our cultural landscape.  Hard to believe, the program commemorates the 40th anniversaries of both the infamous Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs tennis match, known as the Battle of the Sexes, and the launch of the Women’s Tennis Association.

The program goes all the way back to the 12-year old southern California girl who played tennis on public courts and was keen to observe the disparity and unfairness of her situation.  King’s competitiveness on the woman’s tennis circuit was matched by her efforts on behalf of the women players to gain equal footing with the men in tournaments and more specifically prize money.  I really enjoyed the producers letting King present her own story and it was great hearing from Bobby Riggs’ son.

AMERICAN MASTERS: BILLIE JEAN KING airs Tuesday, April 8 at 8pm on WOSU TV with an encore presentation Wednesday, April 9 at 8pm on WOSU PLUS.