LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Tennis legend Billie Jean King has become a minority owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The team announced Thursday that the 74-year-old King and her partner, Ilana Kloss, had joined the Dodgers ownership group, with includes majority owner Mark Walter and minority owners Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly.

The announcement came on the 45th anniversary of King’s victory over Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes.”

“As someone born, raised and educated in Southern California, it is an honor to be part of the Dodger ownership group,” King said in a statement. “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 grew up in Long Beach and graduated from both Long Beach Polytechnic High School and Cal State University, Los Angeles. She went on to win 12 Grand Slam singles titles. Seventh all time.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — in 2009.

Her brother, Randy Moffitt, spent 12 seasons in the major leagues as a pitcher with the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays.

“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,” Walter said.

King and Kloss will also join Walter’s ownership group in the Los Angeles Sparks, a move which is pending approval.

Billie Jean King speaks at the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative at the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Sept. 6, 2018, in New York City. (Getty Images)

Kloss is the president of Billie Jean Enterprises and former CEO and Commissioner of World TeamTennis. A former No. 1-ranked doubles player and U.S. Open doubles champion, she is a member of both the National and International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

A news conference will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Dodger Stadium.

“Major League Baseball is pleased to welcome Billie Jean King and her partner Ilana Kloss to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group,” MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a statement. “Billie Jean King is a true American trailblazer who has tirelessly championed for gender pay equality, LGBTQ rights, and diverse, inclusive workforce leadership.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply