Billie Jean King praises Northwestern grads on inclusion

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Billie Jean King
FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, Billie Jean King speaks during the opening ceremony during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Baby boomer and tennis great King had some good things to say about millennials in a speech to Northwestern University graduates. King on Friday, June 16, 2017, told the graduates they are "the best generation so far" when it comes to inclusion. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

CHICAGO/June 17, 2017(AP)(STL.News) — Tennis great Billie Jean King had some good things to say about millennials in a speech to Northwestern University graduates.

King on Friday told the graduates they are “the best generation so far” when it comes to inclusion.

King was the first prominent female athlete to confirm she was gay in 1981, after her partner filed a palimony lawsuit. She also blazed a trail for gender equality by defeating Bobby Riggs in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match.

However, pay equality was a major part of her message. Although all four of the grand slam tennis tournaments have offered equal prize money for a decade, women still make less on the pro tour than men. She called on men to do their part to change that.

King was given an honorary doctorate recognizing her work on behalf of the LGBT community.