Late last week, Raymond Moore – the tournament director and chief executive officer of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament – made comments about the Women’s Tennis Association that were pretty offensive.
Moore said, “In my next life, when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men,” he said. “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.”
Moore also referred to certain professional female players as “physically attractive” and “competitively attractive.” Well, looks as if Raymond might have to get on his knees for his next job, Monday it was announced that he was stepping down in the wake of his controversial comments.
The move was announced late Monday night in a three-paragraph statement from the tournament’s owner Larry Ellison.
“Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with Raymond Moore,” said Ellison in the statement. “Ray let me know that he has decided to step down from his roles as CEO and Tournament Director effective immediately. I fully understand his decision.
Serena Williams handled Moore’s comments with just the right mix of class and “quit playing yo”
Women bring great value to tennis and its audiences, Williams said, replying to Moore’s insinuation that it was men who primarily drive interest in the game. “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,” ESPN reported Williams as saying.
Williams specifically cited the fact that she was responsible for the 2015 US Open women final’s tickets being sold out before the men’s finalsfor the first time in history, as everyone was expecting her to compete—though she eventually went out at the semi-finals, taking ticket prices with her.
Williams said she doubted Moore’s words might have been misinterpreted. “You know, there’s only one way to interpret that,” Williams replied, “get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man … We, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.”
photo via LA Times