Wimbledon is finally updating its 19th century policy of referring to married women champions by their husband’s names on its honor board.
The green board for men’s singles champions lists them by their first initial and last name.
Women, though, get an honorific in front of their name – Miss or Mrs., depending on marital status. If a woman is married, her name doesn’t come after the “Mrs.” Her husband’s name does.
So out tennis legend Billie Jean King – who was married to attorney Larry William King from 1965 to 1987 – is listed as “Mrs. L.W. King” for her singles championships in the 1960s and 1970s. The board still refers to her six wins with her husband’s name.
For some, it even made the board confusing. Chris Evert is listed as “Miss C.M. Evert” for her wins in 1974 and 1976. But she married pro tennis player John Lloyd in 1979, so the honor board says that “Mrs. J.M. Lloyd” won the women’s singles championship in 1981. They divorced in 1987, but the board still lists his name for her 1981 win.
Now Wimbledon is catching up with where the world was decades ago and is dropping the titles and the use of husbands’ names. So Evert will be referred to as “C.M. Evert” for all three of her victories.
“Terrific to see Wimbledon making this important change,” King tweeted.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) May 27, 2022
On the right, people criticized the change. Television personality Piers Morgan tweeted, “RIP Chivalry.”