In a single comment, Raymond Moore has managed to offend most women. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the 69-year-old co-founder of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (WTA) and former professional tennis player has told the media that professional female tennis players should be grateful to men for the sport’s amount of popularity. “They [women] don’t make any decisions and they are lucky,” 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.”
His sexist remarks were quickly shut down by female tennis star Serena Williams who shared her thoughts in a press conference. “We, as women have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.” In a video posted by Bleacher Report, Williams described Moore’s “inaccurate” statements as “a disservice to … not only a female athlete but to every woman on this planet.” A “disappointed” Billie Jean King, a former successful female tennis player, has used Twitter to respond to Moore’s comments, saying “He is wrong on so many levels. Every player, especially the top players, contributes to our success.”
Moore was soon forced to publicly apologise. According to SMH, he claimed that his comments were “in poor taste and erroneous” and that he was “truly sorry” for stating them. As the WTA is currently hosting the BNP Paribas Open, Moore had a comeback statement. “We had a women’s final today that reflects the strength of the [female] players.”
The public still seems to have mixed responses to Moore’s controversial comments. On the SMH Facebook page, some social media users have agreed with Moore’s comments and described them as “accurate” while other users are clearly outraged by the comments and have even suggested that Moore should resign from his job.