Raymond Moore, former South African tennis player and current CEO of the prestigious Indian Wells tennis tournament, stepped down from his position last Monday, amidst comments he made regarding female players in the sport.
Before Serena Williams took the court against Victoria Azarenka in the final of the BNP Paribas Open last week, Moore declared to reporters, “in my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA [Women’s Tennis Association] because they ride on the coattails of the men.” He continued by saying, “they don’t make any decisions, and they are 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.”
Soon after these reports gained publicity, Moore released a written statement apologizing for his comments, saying, “I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous…I am truly sorry…” However, this apology came too late, and Moore’s statements were met with outrage worldwide, which impacted his resignation from his prestigious position only one day after his initial remarks.
The owner of the Indian Wells tournament, Larry Ellison, commented on Moore’s resignation on Monday, saying he “fully understands his decision.” Ellison continued by crediting the leadership of key players in women’s tennis, such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and Venus and Serena Williams, to the success of the sport, and how the entire BNP Paribas Open Organization is determined to make it “a better sport for everybody.”
Even Serena Williams, who was at the root of Moore’s comments, fired back at the CEO, saying, “I think those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate.” Williams continued by expressing her surprise that sexist statement’s like Moore’s are still being voiced in modern society, and described her hope for a new future in women’s tennis.
Before Moore gained backlash for his comments, he told reporters that he planned to maintain his position of CEO of the Indian Wells tournament for three or four more years. However, today, Moore’s sexist remarks will keep him at a distance from the tennis community for a long time.
By Margaret Joel ’16, World News Senior Editor