Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore said “Women players ride the coattails of the men” in comments before Serena Williams met Victoria Azarenka in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday. He apologized later in a tweet on Twitter, but not before Williams had a chance to react.
Comments that Moore mentioned were:
“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.”
Williams was asked about Moore’s comments in her postmatch news conference and here is what she had to say on the sexist comments:
“Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that,” she said. “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.“
One would think after so many previous occasions of people making offense comments or posting controversial messages in online media like Facebook and Twitter that they can’t just make these comments and expect no backlash.
In today’s day in age you can be pretty sure that what ever you say will get out to the masses and it will happen so fast that you won’t even be able to withdraw the statement before the damage is done. What Moore may not realize is that many careers and images have been destroyed that stemmed from a silly on the spur of the moment action that were committed without consideration of recourse.
Moore’s comment was stupid on about 19 different levels. It was a layer cake of stupidity. First off: “lady players?” Come on, man. I know your ideology is set in 1954 but we can update the lingo a little bit.
Second off, it’s entirely infuriating and reductive because it reinforces idiotic ideas about men’s and women’s sports that have become cemented in the brains of people who refuse to look at facts.
Do you think Raymond Moore should step down as the CEO of Indian Wells? I think Moore should be fired as the Indian Wells CEO to send out a powerful message that derogatory statements will not be tolerated.