Jun 03, 2022
By Steve Kee
Tennis legend and LGBTQ rights activist Billie Jean King has received France’s highest civilian award.
Today King received the Legion on Honour in recognition of her contributions to women’s sports, gender equality and the rights of LGBTQ people in athletics.
King won 39 major titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. King was a member of the victorious United States team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups. For three years, she was the U.S. captain in the Federation Cup.
She took part in the short ceremony at the Elysee Palace at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron.
This week, the 78-year-old King was back on the main clay court at the Roland Garros tennis complex that hosts the French Open for a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of her winning the 1972 tournament title. That year she won both the singles, and was a part of the duo, that won the doubles.