Colbert, NPR, PBS celebrate Billie Jean King's historic victory

by: Jonathan Scott September 12, 2013

AP Photo

Surrounding the fortieth anniversary of her landmark "Battle of the Sexes" victory against Bobby Riggs, Billie Jean King is being feted this week by the likes of Stephen Colbert, NPR, and PBS. Not bad for one who purchased her first tennis racquet a few decades ago for all of $8.20. First, here's a look at Colbert's constantly amusing September 9 sit-down with this iconic woman:

Tonight at 9 p.m. (EST), PBS will re-air its piece on BJK from its "American Masters" series, which you can also watch in its entirety at PBS.org. Here's a bonus outtake from the film, in which Chris Evert addresses the national women's movement in the United States, including King's pivotal part that she played perfectly for all to see. Evert is right when she says that the woman she speaks of transcended tennis with her "Battle of the Sexes" performance, for one.

NPR also got in the act, saying that King "moved the baseline" for women's professional tennis, that she is. And anniversaries abound around this time: King beat Riggs on September 20, 1973, and that same year the WTA Tour was born. What's more, the U.S. Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to award equal prize money to men and women alike. That makes for a lot of 40s in this calendar year, which will see BJK turn 70 years young also.

What's your favorite BJK quote or action over time?

Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.

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