Tennis CEO says female pros 'ride coattails' of men's game, Serena Williams responds
Just before Sunday’s final at the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore made some shockingly sexist remarks about women’s tennis, and Serena Williams is not here for that nonsense.
“No, I think the WTA – you know, in my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, (laughter) because they ride on the coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky,” Moore said during a media session. “If I was a lady player, I’d go own 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.”
Serena Williams clapped back at him in comments to the media after her defeat in the final to Victoria Azarenka.
“Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that. 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,” she said.
As for the possibility that the comments were taken out of context, Williams was more than a little disbelieving.
“Well, if you read the transcript, you can only interpret it one way. I speak very good English. I’m sure he does too. You know, there’s only one way to interpret that. 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.”