Barack Obama is getting flak for his math skills, but it's not in reference to health care.
While introducing former tennis star and civil right pioneer Billie Jean King at a ceremony honoring recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Obama mentioned some of the highlights of her tennis career, including her 12 grand slam titles, 67 singles titles and 101 doubles titles. According to King though, those numbers "weren't even in the ballpark."
"They didn't get any of my facts right. Did you see all the - how many titles I won? I was cracking up. The Grand Slam's at 39 not at 12."
"That's not what's important," she explained. So when Obama got it wrong, "I thought even was more cute...I go, ‘Oh that's really sweet.' Like, just move on, get off the tennis stuff. Tennis was a platform."
King tried to play it off like she didn't care about the perceived slight, but there's definitely some testiness in her tone as she offered those quotes to a Politico reporter. (If it's not a big deal, why mention it?)
But here's the kicker: Obama wasn't really incorrect.
Though King did win 39 Grand Slams, that total includes singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles. When Obama said she had won 12, he was correctly referring to the amount of singles titles she won, which is standard when discussing the Grand Slam totals of any specific player. (For instance, you'll almost always read that Serena Williams has 11 Grand Slams -- her singles total -- not the 20 she has won in total.)
And those 67 singles titles? That's the total as recognized by the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
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