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08/06/2013 05:14 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Billie Jean King On Gay Athletes: It's 'Very Difficult' To Come Out While Active In Sports

Tennis legend Billie Jean King spoke at length about the challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes continue to face in the world of sports when she appeared on HuffPost Live Aug. 6.

King, who was outed in 1981 when news of a "galimony" lawsuit filed by her former girlfriend Marilyn Barnett hit the media, said, "It's very, very difficult to come out when you're still actively participating in a sport. It's starting to get better, and it depends on the sport, too. In tennis we've been pretty lucky, but we still don't have a gay guy coming out."

She praised NBA veteran Jason Collins, who became the first male athlete to come out as gay while still active in a major sport in April, while recalling her own experience.

"They seem to think that [for] women, it's been easier," she said. "It was a long, arduous, very difficult process for me."

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