David SimsEssays

1973: Iconic “Feminist” Sports Win Was Faked

Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King

by David Sims

ON 20 September 1973, a female tennis star in her prime, Billie Jean King (age 29), matched with an elderly former male tennis champion, Bobby Riggs (age 55), and she beat him in what is now called “the battle of the sexes” tennis match.

Setting aside the fact that Bobby Riggs was an older man, not decrepit, but well past his own prime, there is another reason to regard the game as having been unfairly conducted.

A report states that Bobby Riggs had gambling debts, and Mafia-associated gangsters, endeavoring to collect on those debts, presented Riggs with a shady financial arrangement. If Riggs would throw “the battle of the sexes” tennis match, the gangsters would forgive his debts. It has been covered, but not highlighted or emphasized, in the media. The New York Daily News reported nine years ago:

Tennis great Billie Jean King scored a victory for women everywhere when she trounced aging chauvinist Bobby Riggs 40 years ago — but her triumphant win in the “Battle of the Sexes” may have been manipulated by the Mafia, according to a bombshell new report.

More than 50 million Americans tuned in on Sept. 20, 1973, to watch King, at the top of her game, decimate former champ Riggs in what remains the most viewed US tennis match of all time and one of the high points of the feminist movement.

It came just four months after Riggs gave Margaret Court — the No. 1-ranked female player — a drubbing in a similar exhibition game.

King — who was a 29-year-old Wimbledon winner and women’s liberation supporter when she wiped the court with the decrepit Riggs — shot down the report by ESPN Monday as the US Open got underway in Queens.

“This story is just ridiculous,” said King. “I was on the court with Bobby, and I know he was not tanking the match.”

She told the Daily News the juicy new plot “doesn’t bother me at all” — and questioned why it wasn’t revealed four decades ago.

“I don’t care — that’s all that matters,” said King. “It was fair and square because I was there.”

King’s victory netted her $100,000 in prize money and bragging rights in perpetuity, but according to country-club worker Hal Shaw, it was all a mob-run ruse.

Shaw, 79, told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that he witnessed a late-night clandestine Mafia meeting 40 years ago inside the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club in Tampa.

He heard Riggs telling mob lawyer Frank Ragano, and Santo Trafficante Jr. and Carlos Marcello — mobsters who ran operations in Florida and New Orleans — that he would throw the “Battle of the Sexes” if the Mafia forgave his $100,000 gambling debts.

Riggs said he was prepared to “set up two matches . . . against the two best women players in the world,” Shaw told OTL.

Shaw claimed he was too “petrified” to reveal himself that night.

He refused comment Monday when a Daily News reporter knocked at his Tampa home.

“I’m not talking,” he shouted.

Riggs, a life-long gambler, was known as the “Happy Hustler.”

He prepared for his match against King by packing on 15 pounds with nonstop partying.

Even so, the odds were 5 to 2 in his favor.

When they finally squared off, Riggs, 55, was sluggish and sweaty. His play lacked his characteristic speed and smarts.

Riggs died in 1995 at age 77.

The feminists crowed about the win of Billie Jean King, but why? A woman in her twenties ought to be able to beat a man in his fifties at tennis, for the same reason she should be able to beat a boy in his single-digit years at tennis.

Now, on top of that, we have the report that Bobby Riggs might have intentionally let Billie Jean King have the victory because he was fearful that criminals would otherwise inflict harm upon him.

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Lazaris Procrustes
Lazaris Procrustes
14 March, 2022 12:01 pm

I knew it was fixed because I saw Riggs defeat Margaret Court, the women’s champion, quite easily, on television. But you can’t expect that lesbo, King, to admit to that. Riggs might be a Jew; he looks like one (and acts like one). He looks like Woody Allen.

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
Reply to  Lazaris Procrustes
15 March, 2022 10:28 am

Does anyone here remember from 1973
the so-called “palimony” suit against King
by a female whose name I cannot recall?
It seemed at the time that Billie Jean’s
husband knew all about it, but did not
care – just so she kept on knocking that
tennis ball around and bringing home
all that money.

Lazaris Procrustes
Lazaris Procrustes
Reply to  Walt Hampton
15 March, 2022 3:57 pm

Yes. I did not remember her name so I looked it up (Marilyn Barnett). It is really funny—the Kings tried to kick Marilyn out of their house, but she refused to go. “Keep it up,” she said, “and I will reveal your financial shenanigans!” Then she sued them for the house, and a lot of $ !! The Kings eventually divorced, and now BJ is “married” to a Jew lesbo. Billie Jean acts like a Jew, whether she is or not. The whole screwed-up group act like jews. Billie Jean even had an abortion in 1971. Lost souls whose lives have been meaningless and worthless. They never did a damn useful thing in their lives.

Reply to  Lazaris Procrustes
17 March, 2022 7:02 am

Those palimony lawsuits were invented by activist judges. Either a state has common law marriage or it doesn’t.

14 March, 2022 3:38 pm

I remember the heavy promotion of the King/Riggs contest. It was about feminism and money. Mostly money.

Rommel 41
Rommel 41
15 March, 2022 4:35 pm

Wow. I am so triggered by this article. Everyone knows that women can be just as good as men (despite the fact they rarely are) that blacks are equal to Whites, and Chinese are super smart. With this single article you have set ‘progressive-ism’ back significantly. Billie Jean “was there” and that’s good enough for me. Interesting though that pretty much ANY man on the pro tour, no matter their ranking, could dispatch the top ranked women. So say many including John McEnroe. Not exact words but in effect. Women just can’t handle the first serve of most men, and the 2nd as well even though most take something off the 2nd serve to be sure not to fault. Same goes for volley and ground strokes as well. Too much… Read more »

Karl Young
Karl Young
Reply to  Rommel 41
16 March, 2022 1:01 pm

Venus and Serena Williams used to brag about how they would beat top ranked men. The 203 ranked men’s tennis player beat both the William sisters back to back in 1998. The real battle of the sexes.

Rommel 41
Rommel 41
Reply to  Karl Young
17 March, 2022 5:13 am

The Williams brothers … in case ya didn’t know. Think I’m joking ?!! Both adopted, unrelated, and both biological males given hormones and dressed like girls from a young age with silly beads in their hair all the time. There are multiple pretty well done videos to view that will leave little, if any doubt. Pictures of them when they were young show two young boys to any discerning eye. Pretty much everyone I recommended the videos to – many years ago now – came away convinced and tossed their skepticism overboard. Physiological and anatomical (skeletal) markers do not go away with make-up and hormones. Truly a scandalous thing to contemplate but this is the jew created world of inversion ((they)) love to propagate. The scuttlebutt was that most women… Read more »

Lazaris Procrustes
Lazaris Procrustes
Reply to  Karl Young
17 March, 2022 9:48 am

All that strutting and bragging—ain’t that just like a congoid?

Old Aardvark
Old Aardvark
29 March, 2022 12:48 am

Jimmy Connors played Martina Navratilova in a second battle of the sexes in 1992. Connors was 40; Navratilova was 35. But Martina had bigger arms than Jimmy and probably weighed as much and was about as tall. Martina was the first woman to take physical training seriously. She did a lot of work in the weight room. She was a big, athletic lesbian from Chzechaslovakia, and to this day probably has the best win-loss record including both singles and doubles of any man or woman in the history of the sport. Connors was quite small by today’s standards, and never had much of a serve. In this matchup he only got one serve to put the ball in play, rather than two. So Connors could not risk going for a… Read more »

Joey Melatonin
Joey Melatonin
31 March, 2022 4:14 pm

I remember the tennis match well and all the hoopla that went along with it. It doesn’t surprise me that the very sleazy looking Riggs threw the match.