Billie Jean King: 'Women have to adhere up for themselves and fight'

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 6:02 PM

The issue of pay equality is very much back on the agenda after tennis administrator Raymond Moore recently courted controversy by stating that women pros should "obtain down" on their knees "every night" and thank Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for carrying the sport.

Billie Jean King: 'Women have to adhere up for themselves and fight'

She'south the woman who transformed the world for female sports stars, but the fight isn't over for Billie Jean King.

The issue of pay equality is very much back on the agenda after tennis administrator Raymond Moore recently courted controversy by stating that women pros should "obtain down" on their knees "every night" and thank Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for carrying the sport. He subsequently resigned.

"It'south more about what'south morally the right thing to do over time," King told CNN'south Christiane Amanpour Thursday in reply to a question about the challenges facing women in sport.

"We can set a grand example about getting the gender gap and salaries even. We can set an example. We're a leadership sport, we're the no one sport in leadership because we've men and women and we are leading."

Tennis isn't the only sport facing divisions over pay equality.

It was a triumph that was seen as a enormous step forward for women'south tennis and helped start the campaign for all grand smack tournaments to award equal prize money.

After Moore'south outburst, world No. one Novak Djokovic added fuel to the fire by claiming the men'south game deserved more prize money because they invite bigger audiences.

He was fiercely criticized by Andy Murray and Serena Williams, the women'south world No.1, before taking to Facebook to apologize for his comments.

"I wish Djokovic, Federer and Murray and those guys -- plus the women -- to realize that we've an opportunity to create the world a better place," said King.

The 72-year-old King revealed that Djokovic had taken time to sit down with her and 18-time grand smack winner Chris Evert to apologize.

"He kept talking about the prize money and I said to him: 'this is so much more about the prize money.'

"I said I've always wanted us to be together as one organization and it'south not what we can do on the court, it'south what we can do off.

"You've the chance to be a leader, you can absolutely assistance modify the world."

Sufficient is enough

Soccer stars Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Hope Solo have brought their complaint -- on behalf of all members of the women'south team -- through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal body that tackles workplace discrimination.

In a statement, U. S. Soccer said that its " efforts to be advocates for women'south soccer are unwavering."

Tim Howard, the star goalie of the U. S. men'south national soccer team (USMNT), told CNN he "understood" the women's action.

"If they perceive they're unjustly underpaid then without question, absolutely they should be unified and they should fight for their rights," Howard told CNN Thursday.

The USWNT, which won the World Cup in Canada latest year, has consistently outshone its male counterparts.

It's won three World Cups and four Olympic golds while its triumph in the two thousand fifteen World Cup final scored the best U. S. television rating ever of any soccer game -- men'south or women's.

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But the success achieved by the team has yet to lead to financial parity.

According to Jeffrey Kessler, the lawyer representing the five players, the women are paid between twenty-eight percent and sixty-two percent less than men, depending on the kind of match.

"The women'south team does the identical work as the men'south team, except they've outperformed in every way," he added.

"The U. S. Soccer Federation made profit of $16 million on the women'south team latest year. It'd a loss on the men's team."

SHOULD WATCH

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