The world of professional tennis was plunged into a sexist shitstorm yesterday following comments made by the CEO of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
As reported by the i100, Raymond Moore said:
No, I think the WTA — you know, in my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA [laughter] because they ride on coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky.
If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.
Wow. Just wow…
And, now, male tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has waded into the debate to say men should be paid more than their female counterparts.
More from Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore this morning, further down his remarks: pic.twitter.com/nXNATitvrR
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 20, 2016
According to ITV, he said:
I think that our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches.
I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more.
I wonder what the ‘other reasons’ the Serbian alluded to are?
Djokovic and Moore’s comments have been staunchly opposed by Serena Williams though.
WTA Insider reports Williams as saying:
I think Venus, myself, a number of players have been — if I could tell you every day how many people say they don’t watch tennis unless they’re watching myself or my sister, I couldn’t even bring up that number. So I don’t think that is a very accurate statement.
I think there is a lot of women out there who are more — are very exciting to watch. I think there are a lot of men who are exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways. I think those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate.
Williams is not the only female tennis idol to speak out:
Disappointed in #RaymondMoore comments. He is wrong on so many levels. Every player, especially the top players, contribute to our success
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) March 20, 2016
Since making the disparaging remarks, which were horrendously off base, Moore has publicly apologised.
At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous.
I am truly sorry for those remarks, and apologize to all the players and WTA as a whole. We had a women’s final today that reflects the strength of the players, especially Serena and Victoria, and the entire WTA. Again, I am truly sorry for my remarks.
As for Djokovic, well, he at least took the time to add that Moore’s statements were ‘not politically correct’ and were perhaps ‘exaggerated a little bit.’
I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this one somehow…