September 20, 2013, - 12:00 pm

40 Years Later, Phony “Battle of the Sexes” That Never Was Still Hyped

By Debbie Schlussel

Today is the 40th anniversary of a sports “Battle of the Sexes” that wasn’t. Incredibly, this phony set-up, which proved nothing and was completely fake, is still getting oodles of hype. On September 20, 1973, women’s tennis champ (and feminist activist) Billie Jean King played former men’s tennis pro Bobby Riggs and “beat” him. It was pimped on America as some sort of proof that women were not only equal to men, but better than them physically.


But King was 29 years old at the time. Riggs was 55, 26 years older. He could have been her father. She was still playing professional tennis and at the top of her game. Riggs was long retired and wasn’t even the best man on the senior men’s tennis circuit. It was hardly a contest of equals. Not even close. Moreover, there have long been stories that Riggs threw the match to settle his many gambling debts. And, in the last several weeks, there have been a number of news reports confirming Riggs’ relationship with the mob–in retirement, he was known as a bookie of sorts–and positing that he was ordered by Cosa Nostra to deliberately lose. That’s probably what happened. King, forever deluded into actually believing she won something here, is in denial of this likelihood and won’t accept Riggs’ known mafiosi connections.

But even if Riggs didn’t throw the match–and he probably did–it’s beyond absurd to say that a 29-year-old player in the best shape of her life beating a 55-year-old retiree is evidence of anything . . . other than the uber-fantasies of feminists who refuse to face reality. And the wet dreams of far leftists. A couple of weeks ago, PBS a/k/a “Palestinian Broadcasting System”–which you’re forced to fund through your taxes–debuted its current season of “American Masters” with an hour-long special on King and her faux-“Battle of the Sexes.” Like a bad SNL skit, the morons at PBS presented this event as if it was actually a real, genuine battle of equals which was won by a woman. PUH-LEEZE. That tennis match was Rigg-ed in more ways than one.

Bobby Riggs needed cash, King wanted to further her feminist BS. And they both laughed at America all the way to the bank. Cha-ching. Although the prize was $100K, both Riggs and King got paid–by some reports–several hundred thousand dollars to play, and that’s not to mention the paid appearances and priceless publicity each garnered from this circus.

If anyone were truly interested in a real “Battle of the Sexes” in tennis, they would do away with the men’s and women’s divisions in the sport, and we’d see reality: that women would never win. Heck, we already have that with the two men in the women’s division–the Williams Brothers, Venus and Serena–dominating all the women. But even the Williams Brothers would get murdered in real men’s tennis. The men play a best-of-five-sets game, where as the women play a much weaker best-of-three.

Take any of the currently top ranking five in men’s tennis–Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, and Roger Federer–and put him up against the top-ranking person in women’s tennis, Serena Williams. They would cream her/him. Hell, take any of the currently top-ranking 150 in men’s tennis, and she couldn’t beat even Number 150.

Frankly, I’ll bet retired, 43-year-old Andre Agassi could beat the 31-year-old Williams. Similar match-ups, such as then-40-year-old Jimmy Connors against then-35-year-old Martina Navratilova (another man posing on the women’s tennis tour), have all resulted in landslide victories by the declared male player. This year, Andy Murray said on Twitter (follow me on Twitter) that he’d be open to playing Serena Williams. But she’ll never do it. Because she’d get trounced.

Forty years ago, the media and promoters created a phony event that proved nothing but gave delusional feminists a synthetic plank on which to stand. Today, it’s time to wake up and admit what was always quite obvious.

Billie Jean King won nothing.

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33 Responses

Boy, do I remember that time well. Debbie Schlussel tellin’ it like it is, always. Too bad the human creature has a tendency to hate something known as “truth.”

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Yay, a tennis thread! 😀

I agree. I was too young to remember this game but I did watch that TV depiction a few years back when Ron Silver played Riggs. Tennis fanatic, can’t help it.

If I were old enough to remember this as a young feminist I would have LOVED this battle. Alas, all I learned from feminism has been an utter fraud so I don’t abide any the nonsense anymore.

I do love tennis. I’d rather watch the men play than the women. I do NOT believe the women should get equal pay. At the most they play 3 sets. The men can do up to 5 high-energy sets. Sorry ladies. It’s bullsh.

I recently read about the hoax angle and I believe it. Feminism has done nothing but let me down and be a fraud and be the complete opposite of it’s stated intent. It’s hurt the culture & country irrevocably.

You wanna know how much a fraud that Martina Navratilova is? I love tennis so much I even liked her even though her commentating was bland & staccato. I loved her love of the game and her older aged achievements.

I had a small Twitters war with her and she blocked me when I tweeted “I could never beat Martina Navratilova in a tennis match but I beat her soundly in a 2nd Amendment debate”.

Ms. Navratilova doesn’t believe in the 2nd amendment but she admitted to me during our debate that she has a gun. I called her a hypocrite potentate because SHE can have a gun but she didn’t want ME to have one. After Sandy Hook she wanted all guns banned, totally clueless that the exact opposite has happened in Sandy Hook since the massacre by a mental-cased mad man.

The funniest part of her hypocrisy was when she took absolute offense when I called her former country a Commie hell-hole and said that she should love America more since she saw fit for citizenship here. She blew her lezzer gasket and said how dare I call her country of birth a commie hell-hole. Meanwhile, this ungrateful bee-otch has done much tearing down of the USA in the last few years (that’s why I was so offended by her silly bluster that had her arguing with me…)…the country she sought asylum in to get out of her Commie hell-hole. How rich is that?

She also had NO CLUE what would have to happen to abolish the 2nd Amendment. Had to love that. She’s a great tennis player but a real, dumb nutter. And she blocked me and called me horrible. 😛

Skunky on September 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Skunky, your long posts are never too long. This one is no exception.

    A pleasure to read of your straight set defeat of the delusions and misplaced idealism of….Oh, what’s her name.

    lee of the lower case "l" on September 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Skunky, the fact that she was willing to have that kind of dialogue with you probably means that deep down she knew you were right.

    Little Al on September 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hooray for Skunky. Great post. Yes, Martina, hmmmmmmmm, boy could I say a lot about that subject. And I’m not sure I could get through without saying something “insulting.”

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for the very kind words Alfredo & Lee! 😀

    Skunky on September 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I did not know about Riggs’ tie to the mob and being a bookie. However, I read years ago that Riggs and king were friends and that Riggs agreed to throw the “rigged” match (pun intended). Another left-wing fraud perpetrated on America.

Concerned Citizen on September 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

wasn’t the king-rggs match also biased in that riggs only was allowed one serve and had to hit into the singles court, whereas king was allowed two serves and could hit into the doubles court?

kirche61 on September 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I believe you are right.

    Concerned Citizen on September 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

While I believe everything you say is generally true, I do not believe King is at fault. The fact that this stunt has never been repeated, says volumes. I don’t see girl demanding John McEnroe play them.

pat on September 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

As you suggested, there was a lack of equity in the 1972 match, even accepting the phony premises. We saw 1/2 of the equation — what about the other half, a 55 year old woman former tennis star playing a 29 year old male tennis star?

Little Al on September 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    “— what about the other half, a 55 year old woman former tennis star playing a 29 year old male tennis star?”

    Game,set, match Little Al

    lee of the lower case "l" on September 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm

The best women’s player was Monica Seles. But she and others could not compete with Steroid Serena and ended up retiring.

Women’s tennis doesn’t test for steroids use, and a lot of the men on the women’s circuit, such as Navritilova and Steroid Serena, have or had an unfair advantage.

JM on September 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Intriguing article Debbie, but at the very sametime, I wouldn’t blame feminism as a concept on this, I’d put the blame on the hardcore and radical elements of feminism responsible for this so-called “Battle of the Sexes”!

Now I disagree with the philosophical in sports of mixing male athletics with female athletics playing against each other, that’s why in major sports, including tennis, track-field, swimming, etc., they have the men’s division and the women’s division for the males to compete against other males and the females compete against other females, that I totally agree with.

I also agree with you DS, that if females at a young age in shape and very athletic played against males who’re young, in excellent shape and bulked up, that the male athletics would defeat them and that’s not us or me being a anti-female misogynist, it’s a complete fact of reality. And this looked fixed of the 29 year old female tennis star defeating a 55 year old male former tennis star who was retired, and as you elaborated Debbie, that the middle aged retiree former tennis star was doing that for the money and for PR issues!

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on September 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

i hate the description
it had nothing to do with sex

at best it was
the battle of the genders

and DS your comments are well taken
that it wasn’t even that


switch hitter billy jean
sure knew how to generate interest
and make money from it

prestigio on September 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm

If you ever decide to do book reviews, please let me know where your website would be. I read books when I am intrigued by what that person is thinking.
Please give us a list of books that you have read.
After reading Keith B. Richburg’s book several times,there is a helluva lot of information in that book that I have been researching and have some very serious questions as to why.
Thanks for your time.

Confederate South on September 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    CS, did you read Shelby Steele’s “White Guilt” yet? That is a great book too because right in the beginning he openly talks about how certain Blacks in society use White Guilt as intimidation and as an unspoken power.

    THAT is essential to admit (that it is sneakily done) before you can take on the issue of urban life in America in 2013.

    I’m gonna put two books I think you’ll like on my Twitters. Click my link and you’ll see them…

    Skunky on September 20, 2013 at 10:47 pm

First I’d like to say Ha Ha Ha Ha! Your joke about the Williams Debbie was funny as heck. Those two especially Serena just work my nerves to no end. Back in 73 I was too young to care about tennis(which I love to watch BTW) but I remember seeing this on the Classic Sports channel. It is quite funny that Billy(spelled wrong on purpose) Jean King really thought she struck a cord for the fembot moonbats when she “beat” Riggs. I didn’t even know that Riggs was a mob bookie and that he agreed to throw the match. That this fraud is has been hyped up for the past 40 years just goes to prove how gullible the American public really are. How else do you explain the current occupant in the White House. That joker can talk out of both sides of his pie hole and the masses will slurp it up like cherry Kool-Aid. I tell you what if they want to have a good match between a retired older male tennis player and a younger female player they can get Pete Sampras to play Serena Williams. Wait a minute that would be two guys playing wouldn’t it. Anyway I’m sure even with Sampras’ bad back and knees he would still beat the pants off of him, er I mean her.

Ken B on September 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Well let me just say that I’m shocked, shocked! To discover that Riggs may have had some ulterior remunerative motive for that totally fun tennis event that had a HUGE audience. Bobby Riggs was a cool guy and back in the day an astounding champion. BTW, Many people forget that before Riggs played Billy Jean he played the current world No. 1 women’s player, Margaret Court, who was just a magnificent women’s champion and one of the few to win a real single year Grand Slam. Bobby beat her pretty handily as I recall….You know I’m remembering the King match. It was a crazy-fun circus and a lot of people made money having a good time. I seem to remember that Riggs put so much back spin on a drop lob that it almost (or did it really?) bounced back over the net.
Lighten up everybody. Tennis is a game, and the kids wanna have fun. I just finished reading Jimmy Connors’s (excellent) autobiography, and it really reminded me of how much more entertaining tennis was to watch in that era.
Don’t get me wrong, the current era, vis a vis greatness, is ridiculous–Federer is #5 or something, I think that says it all. But I don’t think you see the kind of really contrasting styles of play like you had back then, and please forgive me, the charismatic, insouciant, obnoxious, often funny and always unpredictable characters.
Now I can sit back and see how hard I get hammered for telling everybody to lighten up. Fire away, fun-lovers.

Joe Guiney on September 21, 2013 at 3:14 am

Men have to be tougher playing tennis, because occasionally they get hit in their “package” with 100mph shots. I have (a smash from 20 feet away), and couldn’t ride my bike home, couldn’t speak for hours. I’m okay now, except my left jewel hangs 6 inches lower than the other.

Truth on September 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

What we need to do is abolish this never ending War On Women. We need for the Neanderthal, old, white, Eurocentric, archaic, reactionary, good ol’ boy mentality to stop once and for all. The “Rush Limbaughs of the world” and their lap dogs like me, especially me, the blond haired, blue eyed white people that Brazil’s president Lula Da Silva correctly stated five years ago as being the cause of all the world’s problems, just need to die already.

So, I propose a new status for the American political realm, an American form of Jihad, if you will. Instead of just random killings like running commercial airliners in to buildings, we need to target guys like me. We need to find out who the old white men bitterly clinging to their guns (in my case, it’s just my NRA membership card) and Bibles are, and kill them.

Simple. Who is a conservative old white man? Who believes in low taxes, small government, strong national defense and law enforcement, private property rights, true free market capitalism, and all values associated with conservatism? Who believes in the constitution? We KNOW for a FACT that those people are the ones responsible for the War On Women.

Surely there must be a way of assessing these things. Surely there must be a way of finding out what people believe, what they think, who they are, where they live, and then the government can take, ohhhhhhh, say, 1.8 billion hollow point bullets, 2,700 light armored tanks, 15,000 visiting Russian soldiers currently enjoying their coffee break in FEMA camps and, and, . . .

hummuna, hummuna, hummuna, uh oh, I tawt I taw a putty tat. THEY’RE ALREADY DOING IT!!! RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAAAAYYYYY!!! GIVE UP THE WAR ON WOMEN!!! TRUCE!!! TRUCE!!! I’M SORRY, I DIDN’T MEAN IT, I’M A LIBERAL, I’M ONE OF YOU, . . .



Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

Too good, too true. Problem is that now it’s leaked into real life and that’s led to some unnecessary problems, even deaths.
Trying to create a society of equals without the reality of the total false argument has had consequences for people in situations like police and military forces. Separate standards but better job opportunities for the weaker and less qualified has crippled much of our dumbed down society. Skunky hit the nail on the head when arguing with the idiot King about the 2nd amendment and was then blocked by the tolerant lefty. Big surprise there.
The UFC has a series that is almost unwatchable without DVR called “The Ultimate Fighter” and the house has about 30 male and female fighters all from the 135 pound weight class. Yeah, it’s turning into a sex u up series and the current female champ is showing herself to be a goofball, but all things equal? They’re not. A 135 pound male will destroy the female counterpart and even when a female Karate champion was attacked by a knife wielding bad guy in New York years ago, she was badly injured. Almost died.
I’ve worked with a few decent hard working female counterparts, but too few. I can’t even totally fault them though because the system is always there to make excuses for them and make them feel like they don’thave to be very good to excel. I’ve had them tell me to my face they refuse to do something that is clearly their job, but won’t do it because they simply don’t want to or have been banging shift command so they walk around like a supervisor themselves. But when a squad gets assembled it’s a bunch of 200 pound plus dudes every time. Go figure.

samurai on September 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm

That’s right, Samurai, excellent points all around. Let’s look at a little more evidence from the world of sports. No matter how much drugs female sprinters take, the world record for the women’s 100 meter dash is still well over 10 seconds. Men were running under 10 seconds before PEDs. No matter how much drugs female sprinters take, the world record for the 200 meter dash is well over 21 seconds, while men not on drugs have run under 20 seconds.

No matter how much drugs women weightlifters and powerlifters take, and drugs includes the kind of things that MASCULINIZE women, i.e., anabolic steroids, they cannot approach the lifts that men without drugs have made. The list goes on and on.

Message to liberals. Guess what? Men and women are different creatures within the same (human) species. There are male birds and female birds, male snakes and female snakes, male capybaras and female capybaras, get it?

Watch some lefty pop up to tell me about how female snakes are bigger than male snakes. Yes, that’s true. When you have a creature shaped like a snake, where are the babies going to go if you don’t make it longer? That doesn’t detract from MALE and FEMALE. See the difference? It’s even spelled differently.

I don’t think that will have much effect on the Demmicans and Republicrats looking in and labeling us all extremists, but I gave it a try.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Hey Alfredo can I ask you a question. What the heck is a capybara?

    Ken B on September 21, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      The world’s largest rat, actually rodent. I call them all rats. They’re actually kind of cute looking, and are a favorite food item of my favorite snake, the giant anaconda. Capybaras grow to about the size of a hot chick, in the neighborhood of 100-140 lbs. as various listings show, with some preferring a narrower range of 110-120 lbs.

      Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        Thanks for the info buddy. I thought that those pesky beavers near my home were the largest rodents. Those critters can get pretty big and can be destructive. You learn something new everyday.

        Ken B on September 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Let no one who isn’t well schooled in Beaverdom give those varmints short shrift. Beavers can . . .

“change the course of mighty rivers,
Bend steel with th—–,

well, let no one take beavers lightly. One of the most destructive creatures, make no mistake. They look all cute and everything, but they can change the course of valuable waterways, that’s for sure.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about all three of the main areas of this case: tennis, sports gambling, and the Mob. There is no question in my mind that the game was fixed, and was a big moneymaker for the Mob. First of all, Riggs was a hustler of the first rank. The guy made lots of money playing people who were very good at tennis, but would deliberately lose to get the stakes higher. It worked, and then he performed just well enough to beat them, but not so much that their egos were hurt or they would feel that they were taken advantage of (although that was exactly what he was doing). Riggs was so good at this that he even was a hustler at golf.

Riggs even made money betting on himself in the professional circuit.

One of the things about Riggs was that he was extremely disciplined as a tennis player, even in his later years, contrary to appearances. He would typically train very hard so that he could exactly what he wanted to on the court.

Prior to the match with Bill Jean King match, he prepared very well to play Margaret Court–then one of the top female players in the world. (She was a Grand Slam winner and was at the peak of her career.) He coasted to a 6–2, 6–1 victory that was highly publicized. That was the perfect setup for the match later with King. With that strong performance and great publicity, the media went all-out in its hype of the Riggs-King matchup as the great “battle of the sexes.”

Riggs would be posted as a heavy favorite. And the gambling money poured-in almost exclusively on Riggs. Normally in that situation, the odds would get even heavier on Riggs, meaning if you tried to bet on the game and wanted to bet Riggs, you’d have to risk a lot of money for a relatively smaller return–and, on the other hand, there’d be an even bigger payoff if you wanted to bet King. But that did not happen. Instead, the Mob, which controlled the odds, let the odds appear just comfortable enough to encourage the maximum betting on Riggs,

Now, normally, Riggs would have been doing a lot of hard work preparing for the match, as he had always done in the past–when he wanted to win, that is. But for this particular match, Riggs spent his time “preparing” by drinking booze and womanizing–to put it politely.

The rest, as they say, is history. But most of the top tennis players of the day knew that Riggs had thrown the match. Riggs didn’t even bother to do his usual preparations to at least make it look real. For example, Chris Evert (whom Riggs also defeated in a less publicized matchup right after the Riggs-Court matchup) knew that Riggs threw the match. But Billie Jean King is still in denial–or she just refuses to admit the truth, and “thinks” she beat Riggs fair and square, and that he “wanted to win” from the “look in his eye.”

They’re going to try to hype another tennis “battle of the sexes,” matching up Andy Murray with Serena Williams, to be held in Las Vegas–of course. Williams wants to play using the alleys (the full doubles court) and to play on clay.

Ralph Adamo on September 22, 2013 at 12:41 am

Perfect and most sensible analysis. Also makes Riggs look very much like the Harlem Globetrotters of tennis, which is a compliment, intended as nothing but one. Although I was only a teenager at the time, I was growing up in NYC, and had certain “friends” who would later turn out to be uhhhhhh, yeah, right, and was getting to know the hustler mentality very well, among other uhhhhh, “things.” Riggs certainly smelled of it, big time.

Also, even a dumb blond teenager like me could tell no way a top male player loses to a top female player. There was no reason to believe Riggs was not still a tennis badass. Very interesting how after The Cultural Pancake Flip all the weeds of cultural decay which sprouted during that period flourished so well, and now engulf us. The Battle Of The Sexes, indeed. And now it’s a full blown War On Women, even though women have never before wielded so much power in America.

Talk about a hustle.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on September 22, 2013 at 12:55 am

Is it true they’re trying to set up a boxing match between UFC Woman’s champ Ronda Rousey and Muhammad Ali to prove that female fighters are better than the men?

Judd on September 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

I watched the event live when it happened – it really was hyped to be the biggest thing. None of us could understand how Riggs could fare so poorly. We kept expecting him to mount a comeback that never came. It was quite pathetic really and the only plausible explanation, all these years later, is that he must have thrown the match.

I can’t remember if we thought that at the time but this was someone who beat Margaret Court handily and now was hitting every shot into the net or out. He looked like a beaten man from the get to.

As Debbie points out, this event served to equalize the sexes in the eyes of many, something that didn’t hold then and doesn’t today – given that they each have unique gifts and abilities.

Barry on September 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

At the 1998 Australian Open the Williams sisters had watched some of the male players practising. On the basis of what they saw, they were convinced that they could beat a man ranked around 200 in the world and wanted to set up a game. The German, Karsten Braasch, ranked 203, accepted the challenge. The match took place on one of Melbourne’s back courts and Braasch could be seen having a cigarette between games! He beat Serena 6-1 only for Venus to then take the court. He beat her 6-2. In subsequent years when Venus saw Braasch again she said: “You know that thing in Australia? It never happened!” I can’t believe either of the sisters would opt to make the same mistake again against Andy Murray. As for BJK – she is such a deluded individual. She claims Riggs simply “had a bad day at the office” when he “lost” to her and, excusing Margaret Court’s loss a few months earlier, reckons then-World No 1 Court had a bad day at the office in losing to Riggs.

Chris on January 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

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