Equal opportunity laws in the U.S. were still two years away when BILLIE JEAN KING "barricaded 63 of her colleagues in a room at the Gloucester Hotel in London and emerged triumphantly waving legal papers that led to the formation of the Women's Tennis Association 40 years ago," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The WTA has announced plans for more than 20 of the 23 women who have since been ranked No. 1 "to gather at a glitzy event on the middle weekend of Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, to commemorate what became not only a seminal sporting moment but a key staging post in the battle for equality." King said, "What started as a few women and a dollar has grown to thousands, living the dream -- our dream. We were athletes who wanted to compete -- and along the way we made history, determined to win, not just for ourselves, but for women everywhere." WTA CEO STACEY ALLASTER said, "If we hadn't had Billie, our sport wouldn't be where it is today. She was the catalyst, the dreamer, the person who said 'we will do this and we will be successful.' She is as active today in the WTA as she was in 1973" (GUARDIAN, 6/19).
People and Pop Culture
South African Premier Soccer League side SuperSport United on Wednesday introduced CALVIN JOHNSON as its new coach. Johnson, the former Platinum Stars coach, signed a three-year deal. Johnson has been linked to the job since the position became vacant three weeks ago (SOWETAN LIVE, 6/20). ... South African Blue Bulls rugby Team Dir BRAND DE VILLIERS is the new South African Premier Soccer League CEO, Chairman IRVIN KHOZA announced (SOWETAN LIVE, 6/20). ... La Liga side Real Zaragoza hired PACO HERRERA as its coach. He replaces MANOLO JIMENEZ (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 6/20).
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Croatia's state prosecutors have indicted Dinamo Zagreb President ZDRAVKO MAMIC "for inciting racial hatred towards ethnic Serbs." In line with the law, the state prosecutors "did not explicitly name Mamic," but said that a 54-year-old Croatian was indicted for inciting hatred toward sport minister ZELJKO JOVANOVIC and all ethnic Serbs while appearing in a talk show on a local radio. Mamic said that Jovanovic "hates everything Croatian" (REUTERS, 6/20). ... Brazilian police are investigating after six "Spanish national football team players were robbed at their hotel" in Recife, Brazil. A spokesperson for the Spanish team declined to discuss the incident, while police in Recife could not be reached for comment. The group of players includes GERARD PIQUE (AP, 6/20). ... French police on Wednesday arrested Morocco's former Olympic champion KHALID SKAH "over an extradition request linked to a fierce custody battle between the athlete and the Norwegian mother of his two children." A source requesting anonymity said that the 46-year-old athlete "was arrested at the Orly airport in Paris" (AFP, 6/20). ... Singaporean footballer SHAKIR HAMZAH has been fined $4,000 and ordered to do 30 hours of community service by the FA of Singapore (STRAITS TIMES, 6/20). ... South Korean football coach HONG MYUNG-BO, who coached South Korea's Olympic side to a Bronze Medal at the 2012 London Games, is one of the "strongest candidates" to replace national team coach CHOI KANG-HEE (REUTERS, 6/19). ... Former Pakistan captain and Pakistan Cricket Board exec MAJID JAHANGIR KHAN "is the front runner" for PCB interim chairman (PAKISTAN TODAY, 6/20).
NOTABLE DEATHS: FIBA Europe President OLAFUR RAFNSSON has died at age 50. Rafnsoon died during a visit to Geneva, where he had been attending Tuesday's opening of FIBA's new headquarters (FIBA). ... Tennis player GENE MAKO, who won four major doubles titles and was ranked in the world top 10 during the '30s, has died in Southern California. He was 97 years old. Mako and his friend, DON BUDGE, won two doubles titles at Wimbledon in '37 and '38 and two at the U.S. Championships in '36 and '38 (AP, 6/18). ... South African rugby great and Eastern Cape sports administrator SIMO MZWANDILE CYRIL MJO has died. He was 77. He is "listed as one of the 20 greatest players of colour in South Africa as well as part of the Dream Team of African rugby" (SOWETAN LIVE, 6/20).
Reuters' ANDREW DOWNIE: "Stadium not even half full for Nigeria-Uruguay in #Salvador. Fans reportedly can't get past the protests outside. #Confedschaos"
London Times' KEVIN EASON: "#FIA International Tribunal ends. Decision tomorrow, announces chairman Edwin Glasgow QC"
London Evening Standard's MIHIR BOSE: "Looks like it will be an India- England final just as I wanted. India can't mess it up from here surely? #CT2013"
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