Billie Jean King, partner join Dodgers ownership group, team announces

King - cropped
WTA pioneer Billie Jean King (Getty Images)

Tennis icon and Southern California native Billie Jean King is taking on a new role as she and longtime partner Ilana Kloss are joining the Dodgers ownership group, the team announced Thursday.

“As someone born, raised and educated in Southern California, it is an honor to be part of the Dodger ownership group,” King said in a press release.

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

Owner and chairman Mark Walter said he’s proud to welcome “two trailblazing athletes, social advocates and businesswomen,” while commissioner Rob Manfred expressed his excitement for the additions as he called King a “true American trailblazer.” 

The two officially will be announced as co-owners Friday at Dodger Stadium before the team’s game against the Padres. There also will be a press conference Friday where King, Walter and CEO Stan Kasten are scheduled to speak.