Indian Wells CEO steps down amid sexism scandal
Raymond Moore said woman’s tennis tour ‘rides on the coat-tails’ of the men’s game
The CEO of Indian Wells Raymond Moore has stepped down from his role after comments he made about women’s tennis. Photograph: Afp
Raymond Moore, the CEO of the Indian Wells tennis tournament, has resigned from his role, one day after saying that the women’s tour “rides on the coat-tails” of the men’s game.
Moore was roundly criticised after he proclaimed that women in tennis “don’t make any decisions” and are “very, very lucky”, during an interview before Victoria Azarenka beat Serena Williams in the women’s final on Sunday.
He went on to describe several female tennis players as “physically attractive”.
Moore later apologised, saying his comments were “in extremely poor taste” and that he was sorry. But the damage was done and members of tennis community were swift to voice their dismay on Twitter.
Serena Williams responded to Moore’s remarks, saying: “Obviously I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that.”
“I think Venus [WILLIAMS], 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.”
A statement from Larry Ellison, owner of the Californian tournament, on Tuesday said Moore had “decided to step down”.
“I fully understand his decision,” he said.
“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,” it went on.
On Sunday, Novak Djokovic, who won the men’s final at Indian Wells, sparked further controversy after saying that male players should get more prize money than their female counterparts because their game attracted more viewers.