‘Billie Jean King’ calls white politics ‘awful’ at Wimbledon



CNN

Clothes aren’t just things to keep you warm or cool – they also indicate status, present a challenge, and even relieve anxiety.

tennis legend Billie Jean KingClothing allows female tennis players to express their individuality through colors and prints – a right that she fought for with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in the 1970s when white was everywhere the color of the sport.

Wimbledon This strict all-white uniform is still used – it was first applied to disguise sweat stains. These days, the SW19 major also helps retain a sense of exclusivity in relation to the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open, but arguably also reduces the individuality of the players.

Most urgently, for menstruating players, it creates concerns about whether blood is visible on white clothing.

“My generation, we were always worried because we were wearing white all the time,” King told CNN reporter Amanda Davis. “It is what you wear underneath that is important during your period.

“And we’re always checking if we’re going to show up. You get nervous about it because the first thing we’re into is entertainment and you want everything you’re wearing to look pure, look great. We’re artists. We give it to the people.”

At this year’s Wimbledon, activists called on tournament organizers to relax the strict dress code, gathering at SW19 with banners reading “About Bloody Time” and “Tackling the Dress Code”.

Billie Jean King has won Wimbledon six times.

This came on the heels of comments made by several women including the former Olympic champion Monica Puig Australian tennis player Daria Savile Who spoke of the “stress” caused by the all-white dress code and the “skipping periods” as a result.

Manufacturers are starting to develop solutions, even as the Wimbledon dress code remains, according to adidas. BBC Sport They have period proven training products for women.

“You feel like you can breathe and not have to check everything every minute when you sit down and change sides,” King adds, referring to wearing dark clothes underneath.

“So at least it’s been brought up in the introduction, and I think it’s important to have a discussion.”

In addition to the white politics that creates concerns for players in their period, King notes that it can be difficult for fans to distinguish between players on the field.

“There’s nothing worse in sports than when you turn on the TV and two players wear the same uniform or the same clothes. It’s terrible. No one knows who it is.”

“This is one of the pets that bothers me, I have been screaming for years. Have you ever seen any sport where people wear the same uniform on every side?”

CNN has asked Wimbledon for comment, but has not received a response at press time.

Billie Jean King's defeat of Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes marked a historic moment for women's tennis and the sport.

The fading of the taboo surrounding menstruation is testament to the progress women’s sports have made in recent years, a fight that King has led over the course of 50 years.

Two years ago, the Fed Cup – the leading international women’s tennis tournament in which players compete as part of their national teams – changed its name to the Billie Jean King’s Cup to honor her, and now the tennis player is using the apparel to highlight the champions. From this year’s event with the “Winner’s Jacket” designed by famous fashion designer Tory Burch.

In the tradition of the famous “green jacket” worn by the winner of The Masters golf every year, Burch designed a blue jacket for Billie Jean King Cup winners with the hope that it would eventually become as iconic as its predecessor.

Every stitch, every line, every inch of fabric is steeped in symbolism.

His color, “Billie Blue” was chosen “because so often during her incredible career, King has worn blue,” explains Porsche.

Most famously, King walked onto the field to play Bobby Riggs in 1973’s “Battle of the Sexes” in a blue and green menthol dress, buttoned at the front and embellished with rhinestone detailing.

Her shoes were also blue, deliberately chosen to match her dress, and stand out on still fresh color TV and subvert gender stereotypes.

“The shoes and the color, it’s all very important to me,” King says. “I always try to have meaning in what I wear.”

From that defining moment when he defeated King Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in front of an estimated global television audience of 90 million, gender equality has progressed in and out of the sport, though it occasionally falters or falters in just a few steps.

That same year, the US Open became the first major tournament to offer equal prize money to men and women, while the US Supreme Court granted women the right to have an abortion in Roe v. Wade, although that decision was overturned in June.

“Every generation, they go further and further from the beginnings of the fight,” King says. “I think history is very important because the more you know about history, the more you know yourself.”

King hopes that the current generation of tennis stars, wearing her custom-made jackets for Billie Jean King Cup winners, will hand the wand over.

“But the most important thing is [history] Does it help you shape the future and that’s what I want these young women to do. It is their job now to step up, lead, and shape the future.”

Billie Jean King worked with fashion designer Tory Burch on the Billie Jean King Cup winner jacket.

And inside the jacket, to remind the Billie Jean King Cup champions of “the fight” and their place in it, is a message from King herself.

“Congratulations on winning the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup,” King reads out loud. “As a member of the first FA Cup winning team in 1963, I dreamed of sharing this title with women like you.

“Tory Burch shares my passion for tennis and women’s empowerment. We designed the Billie Blue Champion’s Jacket to symbolize your incredible victory and how far women have come in the sport. Together, we can make equality a reality. Billie Jean King, be bold.”

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