Tennis legend Billie Jean King has
announced that she won't attend Friday's opening ceremonies of the
Winter Olympics in Sochi.
King was one of the three openly gay
athletes chosen by President Barack Obama to represent the United
States as part of a 10-person delegation to the Olympics. The other
two athletes are hockey player Caitlin Cahow and figure skater Brian
King said she would not attend because
her 91-year-old mother is ill. Cahow, originally scheduled to attend
the closing ceremonies, will take King's place.
King has been an outspoken critic of
Russia's law prohibiting “gay propaganda” to minors.
Last month, King applauded Obama's
decision to include gay athletes in the delegation, saying it conveys
a powerful message to Russia.
“When we step off the plane we are
part of America,” King said during an appearance on NBC's
TODAY show. “We
are what an America looks like. So I think President Obama has done
an amazing job on promoting diversity and inclusion. He has been the
all-time president for doing that. And he's showing the Russians,
'Listen everybody belongs in the United States of America.'”