Advertisement

Raymond Moore resigns as tournament director after sexist comments

By The Sports Xchange

Raymond Moore resigned as tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open and chief executive of Indian Wells (Calif.) Tennis Garden on Monday, a day after he made comments that disparaged female tennis players.

The tournament owner, Larry Ellison, said in a statement, "Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with Raymond Moore. 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."

Advertisement

Past and present players, including Serena Williams, who lost in the tournament's final Sunday, and Billie Jean King, decried Moore's remarks.

Moore said Sunday, "I think the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) -- you know, 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. 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."

Advertisement

Moore apologized for his comments later Sunday.

Ellison said in his statement Monday, "Nearly half a century ago, Billie Jean King began her historic campaign for the equal treatment of women in tennis. What followed is an ongoing, multi-generational, progressive movement to treat women and men in sports equally. Thanks to the leadership of Billie Jean, Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and so many other great women athletes, an important measure of success has already been achieved. I'm proud to say that it is now a decade-long tradition at our tournament at Indian Wells, and all the major tennis tournaments, to pay equal prize money to both the women and the men.

"I would like to personally thank all the great women athletes who fought so hard for so many years in the pursuit of equal prize money in professional tennis. And I'd like to congratulate them on their success. All of us here at the BNP Paribas Open promise to continue working with everyone to make tennis a better sport for everybody."

RELATED Kansas City Chiefs' Justin Houston could miss 2016 season after ACL surgery

Moore, 69, is a former touring pro from South Africa. He was in charge in Indian Wells for the past four years, and he took over as tournament director from Steve Simon, now head of the WTA.

Advertisement

Simon said Sunday in a statement, "As the tournament director of one of the pre-eminent events in professional tennis, the comments made today by Raymond Moore were extremely disappointing and alarming.

"The WTA stands on its own and was founded on the principles of equality and empowerment. I am proud of all the strong athletes on the WTA who put in hard work and sacrifice every single day. Tennis as a whole is enriched by the contributions and accomplishments of every player, both male and female."

RELATED Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones talks intersst in Johnny Manziel

Williams, asked about Moore's comments after her loss to Victoria Azarenka on Sunday, said, "Obviously, I don't think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that. 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 out there 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."

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement