Last month, national controversy erupted when a male engineer at Google suggested that women were inntly inferior to men.
Billie Jean King had already rocked professional tennis and stunned the world by smashing every last glass ceiling in tennis with her powerful serve and tireless crusade for women’s equality.
All those accomplishments just weren’t good enough for tennis champ Bobby Riggs, who claimed that he could easily beat King in a match simply because men were inntly superior to women.
So what was King’s response? Did she challenge Riggs’ rights to make such remarks? Did she try to get him kicked out of tennis for his comments? Did she cause a stir in the media over the whole debacle? No. All Billie Jean King did was offer one response: “Game on.”
Having grown up playing daily tennis matches, I was comfortable with winning and losing all the time.
Thanks to Title IX, 3.1 million girls play sports today, an over tenfold increase since King beat Riggs.
Later in my career, as I began my nonprofit, the Institute for Education, and got to pitch important donors, sit in meetings with world leaders, and host events for the D.C. elite, the confidence I built from competition allowed me to feel I could hold my own in any setting, whether on the tennis court or in the boardroom.
As exemplified by King, standing up and speaking out, rather than silencing your opponents can hold great credence.
That’s not to say obstacles faced by disenfranchised are as easy as picking up a tennis racket – far from it.