FEMALE tennis players “ride on the coattails of the men”, this is according to Raymond More, the now ex, Indian Wells CEO. Moore stepped down after sparking outrage on Sunday when he said that women players were very lucky to receive the same take-home winnings as the men.
He also said that women players should get down on their knees to “thank God” for Federer and Nadal.
He said: “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.”
Moore, 69, was chief executive officer and tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open. The announcement he had resigned was made on late March 21 and the South African also apologised for his remarks and said they were “in extremely poor taste and erroneous”.
Women´s number one, Serena Williams, said: “Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that.
“If I could tell you every day how many people say they don’t watch tennis unless they’re watching myself or my sister (Venus Williams), I couldn’t even bring up that number.”
Ex-tennis pro and co-founder of the WTA Tour, Billie Jean King, tweeted: “Disappointed in #RaymondMoore comments. He is wrong on so many levels. Every player, especially the top players, contribute to our success.”
Novak Djokovic then responded to Mr Moore´s comments by agreeing in principle that he thought male players should be paid more in prize money than their female counterparts due to attracting more fans to the game.
He agreed that the comments were “not politically correct” and that women players had “fought for what they deserve, and they got it”.
“I think that our men’s tennis world … should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches,” he said.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more.”
Raymond Moore has been responsible for creating the $7 million male and female tournaments in the California desert for several years.