UNITED STATES NEWS

US Open honors Billie Jean King on 50th anniversary of equal prize money for women

Aug 28, 2023, 9:16 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — After a rousing tribute from former first lady Michelle Obama, Billie Jean King on Monday celebrated the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Open becoming the first sporting event to offer equal prize money to female and male competitors, promising never to stop fighting to maintain that hard-won progress.

“While we celebrate today, our work is far from done,” King said in a speech to a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd between night matches. Echoing a quote from Coretta Scott King, she said: “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and you win it in every generation.”

Obama introduced the 79-year-old tennis legend by recalling how King, as the defending U.S. Open champion in 1973, rallied her fellow women players to threaten a boycott of that year’s tournament unless women got the same pay as men. It was announced that summer that the men’s and women’s U.S. Open champions would each receive $25,000.

It would take 34 years before all the other Grand Slam events followed suit. This year, the U.S. Open winners will each receive $3 million, with total player compensation rising to $65 million.

“Let us remember, all of this is far bigger than a champions paycheck,” Obama said. “This is about how women are seen and valued in this world. We have seen how quickly progress like this can be taken away if we are not mindful and vigilant, if we do not keep remembering and advocating and organizing and speaking out and, yes, voting.”

Obama, who earlier sat in the stadium with her husband, former President Barack Obama, noted that King’s achievement came the same year she went on beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes,” when he infamously said women “belong in the bedroom and the kitchen, in that order.”

“Billie Jean teaches us that when things lie in the balance, we all have a choice to make,” Obama said. “We can either wait around and accept what we’re given. … or we can make our own stand. We can use whatever platforms we have to speak out and fight to protect the progress we’ve made, and level the playing field for all of our daughters and their daughters.”

The ceremony concluded with vocalist Sara Bareilles’ soaring rendition of her hit song, “Brave,” and video tributes from the world’s greatest tennis players, including Coco Gauff, Roger Federer, Iga Swiatek, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, all saying, “Thank you, Billie Jean.”

___

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

United States News

A phone holder hangs in a classroom at Delta High School, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Delta, Utah. At...

Associated Press

Phones are distracting students in class. More states are pressing schools to ban them

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In California, a high school teacher complains that students watch Netflix on their phones during class. In Maryland, a chemistry teacher says students use gambling apps to place bets during the school day. Around the country, educators say students routinely send Snapchat messages in class, listen to music and shop online, […]

57 minutes ago

Mack Allen, of Leavenworth, Kan., speaks with friends and family following a rally for LGBTQ youth ...

Associated Press

By defining sex, some states are denying transgender people of legal recognition

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Mack Allen, an 18-year-old high school senior from Kansas, braces for sideways glances, questioning looks and snide comments whenever he has to hand over his driver’s license, which still identifies him as female. They’ve come from a police officer responding to a car accident. They’ve come from an urgent care employee […]

1 hour ago

FILE - This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential ...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump will face tests in Michigan’s primaries that could inform a November rematch

WASHINGTON (AP) — While Joe Biden and Donald Trump are marching toward their respective presidential nominations, Michigan’s primary on Tuesday could reveal significant political perils for both of them. Trump, despite his undoubted dominance of the Republican contests this year, is facing a bloc of stubbornly persistent GOP voters who favor his lone remaining rival, […]

1 hour ago

CORRECTION: REMOVES REFERENCE ABOUT OWNERSHIP OF GUN - Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey shows defe...

Associated Press

Witness at trial recounts fatal shooting of cinematographer by Alec Baldwin

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Testimony at trial Monday turned emotional and argumentative as an eyewitness recounted the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a movie rehearsal and described gun misfires, crew members walking out and a “ludicrous” pace of work. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer for the upcoming […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Music producer latest to accuse Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of sexual misconduct

NEW YORK (AP) — Sean “Diddy” Combs was sued Monday by a music producer who accused the hip-hop mogul of sexually assaulting him and forcing him to have sex with prostitutes. The suit, filed in federal court in New York, accuses Combs of repeated instances of unsolicited groping and sexual touching. It also says the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Effort to have guardian appointed for Houston Texans owner dropped after son ends lawsuit

HOUSTON (AP) — A lawsuit filed by one of the sons of the owner of the Houston Texans that had sought to have her declared incapacitated and have a guardian appointed for her was dropped on Monday. Robert Cary McNair Jr. had filed his application for appointment of a guardian for Janice McNair, 87, in […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

US Open honors Billie Jean King on 50th anniversary of equal prize money for women