×

Why Anthony Anderson and Billie Jean King are Giving Back with the Dodgers Foundation

Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars.

Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth.

“I was born and raised in Compton,” “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson told Variety on the blue carpet about why he supports the Dodgers Foundation, especially LADF initiatives like teaching students how to do CPR and giving LAUSD students free eye exams. “It’s because of what they do in the community, particularly the community I come from.”

Billie Jean King and Ilana KlossLos Angeles Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala at Dodger Stadium, USA - 12 Jun 2019
CREDIT: Broadimage/Shutterstock

Billie Jean King is also from Southern California and opened up about growing up in Long Beach with her brother.

“We were park kids; we had free coaching in the parks. And my brother became a major league baseball player for 12 years. I got to be number one in the world for tennis,” she told reporters. “The only reason is because we had free access. I am living proof.”

The tennis legend went on to praise the Dodgers Foundation for building baseball diamonds across the city, which she credits for increasing black youth participation in baseball: “These diamonds are the reason they have access. You have to have access if you’re going to have the chance to live your dreams.”

“American Ninja Warrior” host Matt Iseman applauded the organization for supporting youth who “might not have the same opportunities, might not have the chance to be just kids.” Despite being a Colorado native and lifelong Rockies fan, Iseman told Variety he was a Dodger fan for the night. “When you’re in L.A., you have to be.” he explained. “Dodger Stadium is the cathedral of baseball.”

And though many Dodgers players were in attendance, their cathedral belonged to Mars on Wednesday night. The Grammy-winner put on an hour-long concert for the crowd of nearly 2,000 in the outfield of the famed baseball stadium, opening with “24K Magic” and closing with “Uptown Funk.”

“I like to call Bruno a friend,” Anderson quipped, saying he was excited to see the performer again, having already seen him live several times. Iseman also gushed over the entertainer, adding, “I liken him to Prince or Michael Jackson. [He’s]a guy who can do everything.”

The celebrity guest list also included Prince Jackson, Tiffany Haddish, Magic Johnson and Haley Joel and Emily Osment.

Bruno Mars LA Dodgers Foundation

More TV

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Leaders Warn Members About Contact With Fired Agents

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are warning members about being contacted by their former agents — asserting that such efforts are an attempt to undermine the WGA and its members. The missive, sent Tuesday from the WGA negotiating committee, came with the guild in a bitter three-month standoff with talent agents that appears [...]

  • Mike Fleiss

    ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Accused of Attacking Wife

    “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” creator Mike Fleiss has been accused of attacking his wife Laura Fleiss at their home in Hawaii on July 4, according to documents obtained by Variety. The documents show that Laura Fleiss, who is currently pregnant, filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order against her husband after he allegedly [...]

  • James Cordon Drag Race Handmaids Tale

    Emmys Trivia: 20 Surprising Facts From 2019's Nominations

    For a show that technically wasn’t eligible at the Emmy Awards in 2019, “The Handmaid’s Tale” did quite well this year. The Hulu drama picked up 11 nominations, including major ones like outstanding directing, writing, guest actress and guest actor, thanks to a quirk in the TV Academy’s Emmy rules. As previously noted, most of [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost

    'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost to Pop's Profile

    The core executive team at Pop TV expected to be disappointed, but they still gathered at the CBS-owned cable channel’s Playa Vista offices early Tuesday morning for the reveal of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. They were not disappointed. “Schitt’s Creek,” the quirky comedy series that has punched above its weight for Pop since [...]

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

  • Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli

    Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli to Depart

    Janice Marinelli, president of global sales and marketing at Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, said Tuesday that she would step down from her role after a 34-year career at the company. “It has been an honor to work for this company and a privilege to work with so many outstanding professionals,” said Marinelli in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content