September 20, 2018 / 11:45 PM / a year ago

Tennis champion King joins LA Dodgers ownership group

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 10, 2018. Billie Jean King sits in the Royal Box on Centre Court. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

(Reuters) - Tennis Hall of Famer and social activist Billie Jean King has joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as a minority owner, the Major League Baseball franchise announced on Thursday.

King, born and raised in southern California, said she and her partner Ilana Kloss were delighted to join an organization she perceived to be socially progressive.

“The entire Dodger organization are a first-class operation that have proven to be leaders in sports on and off the field of play,” she said.

“We share a commitment to equality and inclusion, including the LGBTQ community, and we hope to further expand the team’s efforts in those areas as we move forward together.”

Team owner and chairman Mark Walter welcomed King.

“Just like Billie Jean and Ilana, the Dodger franchise has a history of and commitment to breaking barriers, inclusion and winning, and we’re looking forward to them continuing to promote these attributes within our organization,” Walter said.

King, 74, won 12 grand slam titles, including Wimbledon six times.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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