This is such a great review by Mary McNamarra at the LA Times that we decided to re-post it here.
Billie Jean King’s story is about much more than tennis
The tennis legend has been an advocate for women’s rights and gay rights and has a far-reaching influence, as documented in ‘American Masters: Billie Jean King.’
Forty years ago, Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs in the most famous tennis match in American history. Dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes,” it was as much a contest of ideologies as athleticism.
King represented the fight for women’s rights, and Riggs, who proudly identified himself as a male chauvinist pig, stood in for the patriarchy. Millions tuned into the wildly hyped telecast, many of whom had never seen a tennis match.
When King soundly beat Riggs (who, though a former champion himself, was 26 years her senior) in three straight sets, women around the world cheered and an icon was born.