photo: Getty Images
Everyone has been asking “Who is Gabby Bell”, the teenager who came out and sat with the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, at the US Open, in Queens New York.
This past week the First Lady paid tribute to Billie Jean King, who led the charge for women players at the 1972 US Open champion in their fight for equal pay, and Bell was an invited participant. This year marked the 50 year anniversary of the U.S. Open becoming the first Grand Slam tennis tournament to pay equal prize money to men and women.
Michelle Obama stated, “we can either wait around and accept what we’re given. We can sit silently and hope someone else fights our battles. Or we can make our own stand. We can use whatever platforms we have to speak out and fight to protect the progress we’ve made, and level the playing field for all of our daughters and their daughters.”
After Obama introduced King she took a seat right next to Gabby Bell, who trains in Ft. Greene / Clinton Hill, at the Kings County Tennis League (KCTL), which aims to use tennis for youth development and community building in Brooklyn. Bell is described as “a funny, determined, kind young woman on and off the tennis court”, according to the KTLC website.
The U.S. Tennis Association invited Bell to participate in the tribute celebrating 50 years of equal pay at the U.S. Open. The USTA Foundation posted on Instagram, “NJTL chapter @kctennisleague’s very own Gabby Bell had the opportunity to walk Billie Jean King on court on opening night of the 2023 US Open! Gabby sat courtside with BJK and former First Lady Michelle Obama during the ceremony to mark 50 years of equal pay at the tournament!”
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