Tennis legend Billie Jean King joins Dodgers' ownership group

September 20, 2018

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that social activists, tennis champions, and longtime partners Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss have joined the team’s ownership group.

“As someone born, raised, and educated in Southern California, it is an honor to be part of the Dodger ownership group,” King said. “Mark Walter and the entire Dodger organization are a first-class operation that have proven to be leaders in sports on and off the field of play. We share a commitment to equality and inclusion, including the LGBTQ community, and we hope to further expand the team’s efforts in those areas as we move forward together.”

King and Kloss co-founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which addresses inclusion and diversity issues in the workplace. The couple also are founding board members of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and both serve on the executive committee of the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF). Founded by King in 1974, WSF works to advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity and has awarded more than $80 million in educational and cash grants since its inception. King and Kloss also have been longtime owners in World TeamTennis at both the league and team levels.

“We’re excited and proud to welcome two trailblazing athletes, social advocates and businesswomen, Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, to our ownership group,” said Mark Walter, Dodger Owner and Chairman. “Just like Billie Jean and Ilana, the Dodger franchise has a history of and commitment to breaking barriers, inclusion and winning, and we’re looking forward to them continuing to promote these attributes within our organization.”

In addition, to joining the Dodgers ownership group, King and Kloss are also expected to join Mark Walter as a member of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks ownership group, pending league approval.

Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 after a professional career in which she won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles, including a record 20 Wimbledon championships. She was also the subject of Fox Searchlight’s critically acclaimed 2017 film, Battle of the Sexes, which depicts the cultural and social impact of her groundbreaking match against Bobby Riggs.

King’s Los Angeles and baseball ties date to her childhood in Long Beach, where she grew up playing youth basketball and softball before taking up tennis at age 11. She graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School and also attended California State University, Los Angeles, from 1961-64. King’s younger brother, Randy Moffitt, pitched in 12 Major League seasons with the Giants, Astros, and Blue Jays from 1972-83.

Kloss, a former No. 1 doubles player and U.S. Open doubles champion, is a member of both the National and International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Kloss, a native of South Africa, serves on the executive board of the Tennis Industry Association and was named the Sports Businesswoman of the Year by the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center in 2007.

By Staff of and news services

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...