RELEASE: Gottheimer Helps Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Award Billie Jean King the Congressional Gold Medal

Mar 29, 2023
Press

Above: Gottheimer with tennis legend Billie Jean King this week.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) helped lead the introduction of new bipartisan legislation to award Billie Jean King the Congressional Gold Medal. A tennis legend in the United States, Billie Jean was also instrumental in the passage of Title IX and has used her platform to advocate for equality for female athletes. In 2009, she was the first female athlete to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

“Billie Jean King has been a trailblazing hero for women, girls, and athletes nationwide. Her courage has helped boost equality for female athletes and move our country forward,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m honored to help introduce this bipartisan legislation to recognize this champion for her lifetime of achievements and her tireless fight for women’s rights.”

Gottheimer is joining with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Mike Lawler (NY-17), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Lou Correa (CA-46), Mike Garcia (CA-27), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Young Kim (CA-39), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Michelle Steel (CA-45), Grace Meng (NY-06), and Buddy Carter (GA-01) to introduce this legislation.

The resolution is supported by the United States Tennis Association:

“There may be no athlete more deserving of the Congressional Gold Medal than Billie Jean King,” said Brian Hainline, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “Perhaps most impressive about her legacy is that her greatness on and off the court has not only inspired countless girls and women to also aim for their own greatness, but has pushed for them to be properly compensated for these efforts. Billie Jean King fought for equal prize money at the US Open 50 years ago, and that giant leap has become the norm in tennis.  She continues to fight for equal opportunity and pay to this day, and has been more influential than any athlete in paving the way for countless females in their professions. As we celebrate 50 years of equal pay at the US Open, the time is perfect for Billie Jean King to become the first female athlete to be given the Congressional Gold Medal.”

Read the text of the resolution HERE.

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