Raymond Moore has stepped down as CEO and tournament director at Indian Wells after he said female tennis players ride the coattails of their male counterparts.
”Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with Raymond Moore,” stated Indian Wells owner Larry Ellison. “Ray let me know that he has decided to step down from his roles as C.E.O. and tournament director effective immediately. I fully understand his decision.”
On Sunday, before the finals of Indian Wells, Moore said the female players should get on their knees to thank the male players.
“They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky,” he told the media. “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.”
He went on to say that Serena is the best female tennis player of all time, but there are other attractive prospects. The media asked him if he meant physically or competitively.
“I mean both,” he answered. “They are physically attractive and competitively attractive. They can assume the mantle of leadership once Serena decides to stop. I think they’ve got — they really have quite a few very, very attractive players.”
Runner-up Serena Williams blasted his remarks at her press conference
“You know, there’s only one way to interpret that,” she stated. “Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not — we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.”
Moore later apologized, but only after Williams’ press conference.
“At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous,” he commented. “I am truly sorry for those remarks and apologize to all the players and WTA as a whole. We had a women’s final today that reflects the strength of the players, especially Serena and Victoria, and the entire WTA. Again, I am truly sorry for my remarks.”