Women’s tennis legend Billie Jean King was in Delray Beach, Florida on Friday for the Billie Jean Cup Qualifierand they discussed more than just the match.
During a 30-minute news conference, King, 79, criticized Florida «Parental Rights in Education» Act, also known as the «Don’t Say Gay» law by its critics.
The bill was signed into law in March 2022 by Governor Ron DeSantis and ban teachers from giving classroom instruction on «sexual orientation» or «gender identity» from kindergarten to third grade.
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King, who was one of the first athletes to come out as gay, commented on the law, which has generated massive debate.
«We must be bothering him,» King said while showing off his multicolored watch, according to The Palm Beach Post. «I have my rainbow watch on today.»
«I think it’s sad,» King added. «I’m very supportive of inclusion, everyone being authentic. If you listened to my personal journey, that I thought was straight, I realized later in life that I wasn’t. I had to find out who I am, who is my authentic self. Going through that journey just for me personally, the important thing is to be welcoming to everyone.»
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The DeSantis administration is seeking to expand the law to grades K-12according to an earlier report from Fox News Digital.
«I have no control over what the governor is doing,» King said. «He probably has gay children in his family. He’ll say probably not, but I bet he does. Most people have gay relatives, even if they don’t know it.»
«I mean inclusivity. I think you should have different people on the (school) board. It shouldn’t just be people like you, who look like you, who think like you. I think it’s important to have people who think like you.» different way». That’s how you really win. You get great ideas from so many different sources in life. I think it’s very important to be open to people.»
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The extension of the law, proposed by DeSantis Board of Educationit would not require the approval of the state legislature.
During his career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 16 singles titles.
Fox News’ Taylor Penley contributed to this report