Dodgers welcome 'trailblazing' Billie Jean King, partner to ownership group

LOS ANGELES -- Billie Jean King and partner Ilana Kloss have joined the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group.

The Dodgers made the announcement Thursday. The tennis great says Dodgers owner and chairman Mark Walter and the organization have proven to be leaders in sports on and off the field.

King says they 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."

Walter says he's proud to welcome "two trailblazing athletes, social advocates and businesswomen."

King, Walter and CEO Stan Kasten will hold a news conference Friday at Dodger Stadium. King and Kloss also will become part of the ownership group of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

In 2014, King and Kloss co-founded the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which addresses diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Thursday's announcement came on the 45th anniv. of her "Battle of the Sexes" win vs. Bobby Riggs at the Astrodome in Houston.

King grew up a Dodgers fan in Long Beach. Her brother, Randy Moffitt, pitched for 12 seasons in the majors, mostly for the rival San Francisco Giants.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called King a "true American trailblazer" and "we are excited to have them both join the national pastime."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.