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Fox News
Fox News
15 Apr 2023


Women's tennis legend Billie Jean King was in Delray Beach, Florida, on Friday for the Billie Jean Cup qualifier, and discussed more than just the match. 

During a 30-minute press conference, the 79-year-old King criticized Florida’s "Parental Rights in Education" law, also known as the "Don’t Say Gay" law by its critics. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to Iowa voters on March 10, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to Iowa voters on March 10, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The bill was signed into law in March 2022 by Gov. Ron DeSantis and bans teachers from giving classroom instruction on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" in kindergarten through 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 garnered massive debate. 

"We must be bothering him," King said while showing off her multicolored watch, according to The Palm Beach Post. "I have my rainbow watch on today."

Tennis legend Billie Jean King speaks before the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier match between the United States and Austria at Delray Beach Tennis Center on April 14, 2023, in Delray Beach, Florida. 

Tennis legend Billie Jean King speaks before the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier match between the United States and Austria at Delray Beach Tennis Center on April 14, 2023, in Delray Beach, Florida.  (James Gilbert/Getty Images for ITF)

"I think it's sad," King added. "I'm very big on inclusion, everybody being their authentic self. If you heard my personal journey, which I thought I was straight, I realized later in life I wasn't. I had to figure out who am I, who is my authentic self. Going through that journey just for me personally, the important thing is to be welcoming to everyone."

The DeSantis administration is looking into expanding the law to grades K-12, according to previous reporting by Fox News Digital. 

"I have no control over what the governor is doing," King said. "He probably has gay kids in his family. He'll say he doesn't probably, but I bet he does. Most people have gay relatives, even if they don't know it.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King looks on before the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier match between the United States and Austria at Delray Beach Tennis Center on April 14, 2023, in Delray Beach, Florida. 

Tennis legend Billie Jean King looks on before the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier match between the United States and Austria at Delray Beach Tennis Center on April 14, 2023, in Delray Beach, Florida.  (James Gilbert/Getty Images for ITF)

"I'm about inclusion. I think you should have different people on the (school) board. Shouldn't just be the people like you, that look like you, think like you. I think it's important to have people who think differently. That's how you really win. You get great ideas from so many different sources in life. It's really important to be open, I think, to people."

The expansion of the law, proposed by DeSantis' Board of Education, would not require approval from the state legislature. 

During her career, King won 39 grand slam titles, including 16 singles titles. 

Fox News' Taylor Penley contributed to this report

Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.