I drew the Battle of the Sexes—the epic men-vs-women tennis battle between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King, for “Transcend: Moments in Sports that Changed the Game” on the Bleacher Report. Check out the Transcend website to see the rest of the sports moments and writeups!
The Creative Action Network helmed the art direction for this project and you can buy posters of this piece from their website, as well as my floating island from 1200 Posters!
I was given the choice of moments to illustrate, but I was really keen to cover the Battle of the Sexes because it was one of the few “Moments in Sports that Changed the Game” that centered around a woman. Bobby Riggs, a 55 year old former Wimbledon champion, publicly declared that he could beat any woman player and went on record with many misogynistic statements like “the best way to handle women is to keep them pregnant and barefoot”. Billie Jean King, a women’s tennis star and women’s rights activist, was ultimately convinced to face off against Riggs and ended up DESTROYING him in 3 sets to none, televised to millions from the Astrodome. By crushing the openly sexist Riggs on a national stage, King created a huge turning point for the recognition of women in sports and solidified her legacy to women’s rights. Today, tennis is the ONLY sport where female athletes are paid anywhere close to what male athletes get, as well as being given the same amount of prize money and televised tournaments as men (in Grand Slam tournaments at least). This is due in large part to King forming the Women’s Tennis Association in 1970 and campaigning to show that female tennis players are just as exciting, skilled, and confident as male tennis players—a point she vigorously proved during the Battle of the Sexes (and many times before and after!) She is an inspiration, and I hope to see her trailblazing spirit mirrored in other sports.
Including the symbolic significance of King’s victory was important to me in the design of the poster, and I aimed to show it through her larger-than-life size on the court. I liked all the sketches I turned in, and was asked to combine the composition of the pink image with the colors from the gold. Harvest gold is a classic 70’s color and photos of the match show a prominent yellow stripe around the tennis court and yellow chairs that courtside spectators were sitting in, so it made an appropriate background color.
Earlier this week, Kevin Love said in a radio interview that he and LeBron are not best friends He also said a lot of other things, like how their friendship is still evolving, how he’s okay with his limited minutes in the fourth quarter at times because the team is winning, and how he will be in Cleveland beyond this season. But of course, the only thing that mattered was “we’re not best friends.” Love was also asked about being excluded from recent group photos LeBron has posted on Instagram.
So at Sports on Earth, I put together a timeline of LeBron and Love’s interaction on social media this season. You can read it here.
Helping Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
According to the National Center for Children in Povery (NCCP) “One in 10 youth has serious mental health problems that are severe enough to impair how they function at home, school, or in the community.” There are no two children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or any disorder that aff…
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