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Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore Said a Bunch of Crazy Sexist Sh*t About Women’s Tennis on Sunday
The PNB Paribais Open, also known simply as Indian Wells because it’s played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, is one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar. It’s one of nine so-called “masters 1000″ events on the men’s tour and one of four “premier mandatory” events on the women’s tour. And Sunday was Finals day, with Novak Djokovic taking on Milos Raonic and Serena Williams taking on Victoria Azarenka.
So why is nobody talking about who won today? Because Indian Wells Tennis Garden CEO Raymond Moore overshadowed the champions by saying a bunch of crazy sexist sh*t while talking to reporters prior to the men’s final.
When asked about whether he’s happy about his tournament’s status as a “premier mandatory” event for the WTA, Moore dropped this bomb:
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.
Yep, that was bad. But, hilariously, Moore wasn’t even finished. Later on he was actually trying to compliment women’s tennis when he stepped in it again:
I think the WTA have a handful—not just one or two—but they have a handful of very attractive prospects that can assume the mantle. You know, Muguruza, Genie Bouchard. They have a lot of very attractive players. And the standard in ladies’ tennis has improved unbelievably.
But hey, maybe Moore just meant competitively attractive, right?
Reporter: By attractive, you mean physically attractive or competitively?
Moore: No, no, no, I don’t—I mean both. They are physically attractive and competitively attractive. They can assume the mantle of leadership once Serena decides to stop.
Way to double down, buddy!
Needless to say, pretty much everybody was pissed off about these comments. But nobody laid into him harder than Serena Williams:
Williams: Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that… 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.
Reporter: Do you think there is maybe a misunderstanding behind how people are interpreting that in some way:
Williams: 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.
Former Indian Wells CEO and current WTA CEO Steve Simon also put Raymond Moore on blast:
As the Tournament Director of one of the preeminent events in professional tennis, the comments made today by Raymond Moore were extremely disappointing and alarming. The WTA stands on its own and was founded on the principles of equality and empowerment. I am proud of all the strong athletes on the WTA who put in hard work and sacrifice every single day.
Of course, Moore later issued an apology, saying his comments were “in extremely poor taste and erroneous.” But you can’t really undo something like this. Moore will probably never be respected by anyone in the WTA again.