Indian Wells CEO Ray Moore Says WTA Rides Men’s Coattails, Then Backtracks
by Staff | March 20th, 2016, 5:40 pm
  • 66 Comments

Indian Wells CEO Ray Moore is in serious hot water today. After another successful event, the well-respected head of what many call the best event on the calendar, put his foot right in his mouth today declaring that the women’s tour should “get on their knees” and thank Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for lifting them up.

“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,” Moore said today before the women’s final. “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.

“And now the mantle is being handed over to Djokovic and Murray and some others. You know, that’s good. We have no complaints. You know, we pay equal prize money. Do all those things. We don’t have any complaints.”

After the firestorm, Moore backed off those comments, saying in a statement, “At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous. 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.”

Moore also raised an eyebrow or two suggesting the WTA has a good future because of attractive players like Garbine Muguruza and Eugenie Bouchard.

“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,” Moore said. “You know, Muguruza, Genie Bouchard. They have a lot of very attractive players. And the standard in ladies tennis has improved unbelievably.”

Then he sort of clarified. “They are physically attractive and competitively attractive,” he said. “They can assume the mantle of leadership once Serena decides to stop. I think they really have quite a few very, very attractive players.”

Serena, who boycotted the event for so long, wasn’t amused and hit back at Moore.

“If you read the transcript you can only interpret it one way,” Serena said. “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.

“Last year the women’s final at the US Open sold out well before the men,” Serena went on. “I’m sorry, did Roger play in that final or Rafa or any man play in that final that was sold out before the men’s final? I think not. So I just feel like in order to make a comment you have to have history and you have to have facts and you have to know things. You have to know of everything. I mean, you look at someone like Billie Jean King who opened so many doors for not only women’s players but women’s athletes in general.

“So I feel like, you know, that is such a disservice to her and every female, not only a female athlete but every woman on this planet, that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and being proud to be a woman.”

What’s even more interesting is new WTA Steve Simon CEO was in charge of Indian Wells until last fall. So what will he tell Moore? And what will owner Larry Ellison do to reprimand Moore?

UPDATE:
Statement from WTA head Steve Simon: “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. Tennis as a whole is enriched by the contributions and accomplishments of every player, both female and male.”


You Might Like:
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Novak Djokovic Wins Indian Wells, But You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet!

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66 Comments for Indian Wells CEO Ray Moore Says WTA Rides Men’s Coattails, Then Backtracks

BBB Says:

Serena at her best.

Over/under on when Ray Moore is no longer CEO of the tournament?


Humble Rafa Says:

WTA is poorly run. That’s a simple fact.

They can’t stand on their own. That’s also a fact.


Margot Says:

Well said Serena. Perhaps she can have a word with ChrisFord too.


BBB Says:

Eh, your definition of “facts” is a bit off.

Yes, the WTA is poorly run, but that doesn’t mean Serena needs to “get on her knees” and thank Federer for existing. She’s right – she and Venus have at times eclipsed any of the men in popularity. Perhaps Roger should thank *them* for keeping things interesting in the early 2000s.


jane Says:

sigh, what a dolt.
ha ha. he can’t backtrack.
people have already suggested he resign, in fact.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Embarrassing. What kind of idiot would say things like this in a MEDIA breakfast?


chrisford1 Says:

One thing I am looking forward to is an America where people are free to speak without obsession that a single politically incorrect statement will “OFFEND” activists. And set in motion Fascist leftist punishments for exercising free speech or having a controversial opinion – that will destroy a person’s career and much of their family’s future.

As BBB implies, the expectation is there It now is threatening to extend past PC into ideology, academic studies and scientific inquiry. Ideology reframed as “hate speech warranting criminal charges” if any are offended. Academic studies that stray from accepted wisdom are now characterized as “foolish, can kill a tenure approval”, “get you tossed from the Pentagon or State Dept”…..and now we have America’s Attorney General seeking to criminalize “climate change Denialists”.

Ray Moore? Stating the obvious. Without the “womans lib”, “equal pay for equal work” red herrings – the WTA would be as poor a stepsister to men’s tennis as the LPGA is to the PGA or the WNBA scream brigades to the men’s NBA. Organizers have to deal with that by shifting some gate revenue and broadcast revenue over to the women’s coffers.
And since the WTA strongly markets “beauty” “modeling endorsements” “strong is beautiful”, etc. – the outrage when Moore says new good lookers like Murgurza and Bouchard will help the bottom line is selective outrage.


jane Says:

cf1, america has free speech, and yes, “fascists” – exhibit A, initials DT. be careful what you wish for.


BBB Says:

er, I don’t know what you think I implied, cf, but I want nothing to do your post.


Siddy Says:

Humble Rafa should be more concerned about why he is a cow now instead of a bull. And maybe promote the WTA since he is going to need a place to play.


chrisford1 Says:

You implies that just desserts are coming to the Tournament Director for saying forbidden (IMO true) , things about the sport.
I am disagreeing with you.
In the same sense, I want nothing to do with your post as well, with its implication that another “social justice” lynching for straying from PC is coming. It contains the mindset that firing and destruction of a career is the new norm for “offending” select groups of Americans.


BBB Says:

He has a responsibility as tournament director to oversee both events, the WTA event and the ATP event. The flippant and vulgar nature of his comments is unprofessional enough to warrant his termination. He can make whatever comments he likes as a private citizen, but he was representing the tournament when he made those remarks.


Siddy Says:

Over/under on when Ray Moore is no longer CEO of the tournament?

24 hours


Emily Says:

I really wish they hadn’t asked Novak about these comments, not good to say the least


BBB Says:

Missed it – what did Djoker say?

This is a big part of the reason Ray Moore will be in trouble – instead of talking about Djokovic winning his fifth title, we’re talking about Ray Moore’s remarks.


gary Says:

I agree Moore should be part of the solution not the problem. Moore is less–he needs to go!!


Emily Says:

I’m paraphrasing, but he didn’t sound in favor of equal prize money and started discussing female hormones (I’m not going to summarize that part, but it was painful to read).


Wog Boy Says:

That is becoming custom, whenever Nole wins major title or set a record, there is some other controversy to talk about instead of Nole’s win.


Wog Boy Says:

Why don’t you give us a link of what was painful to read?


BBB Says:

LOL. He’ll have to face his wife. I hope their next kid is a girl. As McEnroe said, it kinda changes the way you see things.


Emily Says:

This is from Ben Rothenberg’s twitter account:
https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/711697606074740736/photo/1

As a fan of tennis, congrats to Novak for a great tournament.


chrisford1 Says:

BBB – Define what was flippant. Define what was vulgar. Did they deviate from the limits of PC allowed in most universities and minority activist groups? Yes. And if truthful statements of fact, does not firing and other threats serve to facilitate a “bodyguard of lies” around an unsustainable ideology?
And what does overseeing the events of both tours have to do with being prohibited from discussing what the revenue sources are in truth as the Tournament official that takes the revenue and distributes it? That’s part of his job – reallocating men’s revenue to the women. Just as policy set by the Board, lawyers, Ellison direct. And echoing Stacy MacAllaster how a new crop of good looking women will likely help ticket sales is verboten by PC, for just what reason??

Wasn’t too long ago that strident feminists and their supplicant beta-minus males were baying for a 2-year banning of Giles Simon unless he Apologized ! Groveled to OUTRAGE! – for saying the men play a higher skill game, train harder, work more and are far more popular as a sport draw than the gals,,,


Emily Says:

Can you imagine Brian Ferry saying this? Have to give it to Serena, her response was on point


jane Says:

ben rothenberg also – infamously – wrote this, and got into much hot water! lol

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/11/sports/tennis/tenniss-top-women-balance-body-image-with-quest-for-success.html


BBB Says:

cf,your post comes acoss as angry and frankly a bit unhinged, but i’ll make it simple. If I work for Coca Cola, and I publicly say, in my capacity as an employee of Coca Cola, that Diet Coke is inferior to Coke, I’m gonna get axed.


Wog Boy Says:

Sorry, but what is there painful to read, please say?
The only painful thing to read is comments of those haters in that link.
People should keep in their mind that even Nole is fluent in English, he still thinks in Serbian and translates directly in English while talking, you don’t always express yourself quite the way you want, happens to all of us whose English is second language. At the end he didn’t ask for the less money for women but for more money for men, and if they (women) bring more money to tour than more money for them, at the end he stressed that they are making big money already and he can’t complain about that.
When it comes to hormons, I guess he was talking about certain things that happens only to females and how to control them and still be able to play without interruption, just a wild guess.


Emily Says:

I said it was painful b/c I don’t think Novak is a bad guy or sexist. There are players who I wouldn’t be surprised at if they made these remarks (cough…Stakhovsky…cough). I know Novak respects women and female tennis players, but I personally felt uncomfortable when it went in that direction.


chrisford1 Says:

BBB – The guy works for the Tournament owners and committee. Among those is not, the WTA. If he said doubles were less of a draw than singles play, would you want to lower the PC axe on his neck for that statement of truth? Or is that a statement of truth that shouldn’t get him canned since it doesn’t put the Left, feminists into SHOCK! OUTRAGE! mode?


Amanda Moore Says:

My dad has given his life to the game of tennis, and this morning he made a mistake – which every human has done. This by no means make him a sexist. In the world of tennis my dad has been fighting for equal prize money for women’s players and equal treatment in general for as long as I can remember. It is no secret that there are discrepancies between the genders in the game. My dad has fought for equality and has often told me that the women’s players work hard and the men work hard – there should be no difference in how they’re treated or rewarded. He is a champion of women – he is where I get strength from. He was the first tennis player to stand up against ex-hall of fame doubles playe Bob Hewitt for his crimes against female tennis players. He regrets what he said this morning more than any of you will ever know, so I felt I needed to stand up for him, because he has always stood up for me – especially when I make mistakes.

Amanda Moore


Wog Boy Says:

Amanda,

So you should stand up for your dad, respect.


chrisford1 Says:

Hopefully the PC lynch mob will not get Amanda’s Dad’s head.

While it is bad, pro tennis does not come remotely close to the disparities that Title IX generates between who makes the money and who gets it.
One university once had a very successful reveue-producing basketball program, a middle of the pack Div I football team almost meeting expenses with ticket and NCAA broadcast take, 9 other men’s sports with scholarships and university money for travel and coach staff that didn’t make revenue, and 4 woman’s programs not making revenue.

Title IX, which requires Federal money be with held if the university ‘limits opportunity for women’ has now caused a shift. At the above mentioned school, 3 mens programs outside the basketball and football programs that make 95% of revenue are left. Woman’s programs have gone up to 11. Most smaller size, not needing a 60 man football roster to be competitive. Exceoption is a lavishly funded woman’s c\soccer program…The ‘excess football, basketball wealth’ had to be transferred away from their male sports to new women’s sports programs to help create the on paper compliance with Title IX “equality”.

Worse than PC, really. Destroy mens swimming, wrestling, lacrosse, track and field programs and scholarships or risk a university loss of Fed student loan aid, Fed research grants and underwritten studies, risk loss of special tax credits for creating a minority studies dept and hiring 8 new adjunct, assistant and full profs.
It is the new reality. Along with Title IX Star Chambers to investigate and punish allegations of attersn of sexual abuse and discrimination against women outside the US court system.


BBB Says:

CF, he has an obligation to Indian Wells not to make remarks that diminish the value of the tournament, which, as it includes a WTA event, means not slagging the WTA. The immediate employer is irrelevant. This is professionalism 101. It has nothing to do with being PC. It has to do with judgment.

Amanda – you’re brave to read the posts and respond, and I appreciate your comments.


RF Says:

I’m with Amanda on this one. Here’s the deal: It’s very hard for any man to come out and defend Moore in this sort of environment. Sexism exists, absolutely, but to accuse people of sexism when there is a possibility the person may have erred in his choice of words, is a bit over the top. Not the best choice of words from Moore, but if he had articulated in a much polished manner, would he be right ? One could argue he has a case, but so would the other side. But let’s not demonize him.

I would have preferred to see the wording of criticism directed to him to be something like “He may have a point but he should use his words carefully”, rather than “Ah another sexist”. Serena’s response was very measured but some people on this forum are overly judgmental. (Don’t be a social justice warrior.) Many men can sometimes be careless in the choice of their words but we should not demonize them. Accusing someone of being sexist when he may not be one is just plain wrong.

I am very glad Amanda came out to defend her father. I’m hoping nobody accuses her of being sexist. To eradicate genuine sexism, please be more careful in labelling people as sexists; some very good people can sometimes commit an error of judgement.


Margot Says:

“Get on their knees” eh?
This man should be careful about airing his sexual fantasies in public.


RF Says:

@Margot

Here’s what Denzel Washington once said: “Put Your Shoes Under the Bed So You Gotta’ Get on Your Knees in the Morning … to Thank God”. That’s what Denzel once said to students to thank God. Denzel got lucky for not getting accused of sexism. I suppose what saved him was there were more boys than girls (or may be no girls) in his addressees.

A dangerous world for men it has become. Watch your mouths everyone; lest you get accused of being a sexist and a pervert.


Margot Says:

Different context m’dear.
Context is all.


Margot Says:

And PS
Different jobs.


Tennisfan Says:

I hate outrage-culture as much as the next person but in this instance I think Moore’s comments were out of line. In the end, it’s a matter of whether you respect the work and achievements of the WTA or not. It must be depressing for champions like Serena to be told that they’re apparently riding on the coattails of others.


RF Says:

@Margot

The ONLY thing you can say about Moore is that his wording is questionable. In order to accuse him of sexism, you have to give a multitude of examples where he exhibited such behavior. If you were to find those, you can call him sexist. Otherwise, you are just hurling unsubstantiated accusations.

Here’s my question to you: If Moore had worded the same thought differently, would you still call him sexist ? If so, then we have a big problem because you are stifling debate by using smearing tactics.

Different context you say ? Context is IRRELEVANT in this case.I don’t see ANYTHING special about the context here. Denzel told the boys to get down on their knees and thank God for His blessings; Moore said women should also get down on their knees to thank God for His blessings. The problem is that in the former, Denzel was addressing boys, while in the latter, Moore is addressing women, and women don’t like that phrase. Moore should have been careful in phrasing his thoughts. AND THAT IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE SAYING. You want to call somebody sexist just because of an ambiguous phrase ? Go ahead, but don’t expect people to take your opinion seriously when there are real sexism issues at play.

Different jobs you say ? I fail to understand HOW that job which he holds disqualifies him to hold an opinion which many people may hold. It is debatable, yes; should it be said in public ? again debatable, but is he a sexist ? I don’t think so. You should come out and just say that that phrase was in bad taste, and move on. What you SHOULDN’T do is go around and start accusing men of sexism and misogyny for their unfortunate error of judgement. If you still want to stick your ground, you have to give facts how this person is a repeated offender as far as sexist remarks are concerned. If you can prove that, I’ll stand corrected. If you can’t, don’t come up with lame reasons for how this person is worthy of broad-stroke accusations of sexism.


RF Says:

Let me phrase: Denzel told the boys to get down on their knees and thank God for His blessings; Moore said women should also get down on their knees to thank God for His blessings — which came in the form of Rafa and Roger.


Margot Says:

All you poor chaps whingeing about how “PC” is destroying your basic human right to say exactly what you feel, diddums, and also probably destroying civilisation as we know it…..should try substituting the words “blacks” for the word “women” in some of these comments/posts.
And then perhaps you’d realise how deeply offensive they are.


J-Kath Says:

Wogboy @ 8.00pm

The problem with this particular win, Wogboy, was it wasn’t a final worth mentioning….however, Nole’s stunning win made its own statement …..”catch me if you can!”….

PS: A wee bit of an apology to Milos who evidently was unfit.

@ Margot
My goodness me, have you been naughty??? I don’t accept it for a single moment. You are fully entitled to your views…meaning others have the right to theirs…but who gave them the right to believe their views are superior and to take it upon themselves to scold you……..bullsh-t! it.


RF Says:

@Margot

Hah, a man holding the opinion that WTA has benefited from Nadal and Roger who acted as enabling factors is being DEMONIZED just because many people don’t agree with this opinion U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E. You are using a phrase for this person which is used for Donald Trump, and this guy hasn’t said anything NOWHERE near that. And this opinion of his is deeply offensive ? Really ? I can see how “Get down on their knees” as a phrase *can* be perceived by women as deeply offensive, but the opinion itself does not make him a satan. You need to debate, and counter-argue, and not play the victim card.

Why should I try substituting blacks for women when the argument has NOTHING to do with race to begin with except in some people’s own twisted worlds where they like to replace certain words with the ones they wish the other person had said ? What I find deeply disturbing is how you’re unable to see you don’t have the right to call someone sexist when you can’t prove he has a history of sexism.


Margot Says:

@RF
I suggest you look up the meaning of “analogy” and then get back to me. On second thoughts, don’t bother.
And as for telling me I “don’t have the right to call someone sexist” unless you can prove “he has a history of sexism.”
Oh gee whizz you made me snort with laughter over that one. There you go making up the rules about what constitutes sexism and then telling me what I can and can’t do.
You a time traveller from the 19C by any chance?


RZ Says:

Perhaps Ray Moore and some others here should remember what was happening at the US Open last year. Ticket prices went through the roof for the women’s final because of the possibility of Serena winning the calendar grand slam. Serena wasn’t riding any coattails for that.

And no need to reply with comments about her not making the final – that is irrelevant to the point I am making.


Ben Pronin Says:

MMT, good post. I agree. I don’t find Moore’s remarks sexist and it IS sexist to assume that they are just because he’s criticizing something women participate in. But his remarks are still offensive and pretty wrong.

I think Serena had the best reply regarding how much popularity her and Venus have among casual fans. How many people tune in just for the Williams sisters without any affiliation to the sport otherwise? I’m sure it’s more than enough to spare them of this Fedal worship Moore claims they require.

But it’s unfortunate everyone responds in such wild ways. First, the remarks are claimed to be sexist. Then you have “waahhh everyone is so PC” reaction, more nonsense. People need to stop labeling and generalizing statements and actually look at the statement itself.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Amanda, I appreciate you speaking up and reminding us that people in the news are human beings, with history we will never grasp from a headline. I apologize if I voiced anything in a disrespectful tone. Nobody should be judged on one statement. Your father should also be given credit for Indian Wells being the first class tournament it is, that players and fans love.
I hope my daughter will stand up for me like that!


MMT Says:

“jane Says:
ben rothenberg also – infamously – wrote this, and got into much hot water! lol

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/11/sports/tennis/tenniss-top-women-balance-body-image-with-quest-for-success.html

I came to his defense (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2015/07/rothenbergs-gift-to-serena-et-al.html) with the same argument that I make here (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2016/03/indian-wells-isms-and-schisms.html)

Athletes who happen to be women, should be treated like women who are athletes – if a man were more concerned with their body image than their performance, he’d be laughed out of the locker room. So where was the derision for the women of the WTA for insisting that they preferred to look like “women” (whatever the hell that means) rather than building up their physiques to compete with Serena? I dream of a match up in tennis heaven between Martina at her physical peak and Serena at her physical peak.

By the same token, why is Ray Moore’s criticism of the WTA considered sexist if they are (as they should be) held to the same standard of performance as the men? The list of gaffes by the WTA over the last few years is long, but there is no critique of them…and when it comes it’s attacked as sexist.

How can they ever expect to do their best work if they’re held to that standard…by everyone?


Jeff Says:

Amanda

Would you like to talk to my girls about your father’s comment and explain it to them? Some of the comments here are laughable – my girls work 4-7 hours a day trying to develop their skills for a very slim chance of going pro and when they see your father’s comments it is very discouraging when it turns out that all they really need to do is “kneel down” and thank Rafa and Federer.


MMT Says:

“BBB Says: CF, he has an obligation to Indian Wells not to make remarks that diminish the value of the tournament, which, as it includes a WTA event, means not slagging the WTA.”

What if the WTA deserves slagging? What if the rudderlessness of the YEC, the Dubai debacle, the majorless #1′s, the incessant selling of sex rather than athleticism and the wayward on court coaching are all deserving of derision?

Saying the right thing rarely accomplishes anything. If anyone should be defending themselves this morning it’s Stacy McAllister and Steve Simon. Things should be said when they need saying, however ill-formed it is when said.


Ben Pronin Says:

MMT, did Moore really need to add the praying to God regarding Nadal and Federer statement? Would his implication be any different if he had stopped with “They are very, very lucky”? The WTA can deserve all the criticism in the world but saying they should be praying every night to Fedal is patronizing and does absolutely nothing to move things forward. It doesn’t even move things back, it’s just an unnecessary statement that ended up generating a shit storm.


jane Says:

mmt, those women did face derision for those comments too. easily found with a google search. i almost think the implication of some of that was doping?

but different women have different body types. so what? same with the men. it was a silly article.

that said, i agree there has been mismanagement by the WTA; for example “strong and beautiful” campaigns don’t help to undermine looking at women as objects and via their physiques.

the problem is that it’s embedded in culture. and that’s one of the things feminism would hope to undermine. which is why i think attacking feminism as a movement is as short-sighted as attacking someone for their words without considering context/nuance, etc.

as is peoples’ wont to do in the media and/or on the internet especially.


jane Says:

moore also talked about how “attractive” the new WTA players are coming up – and when asked to clarify, he said he meant attractive games AND looks. imo, he should’ve left out the statement about attractive looks. nor should women be asked to “twirl” in post-match interviews. it would sound just as silly if the head of the ATP – female or male – said “we have some young players who have hot games and who are hot-looking too”. you just wouldn’t hear it. not from a CEO. fans are one thing, but these are representatives of the sport.


Ben Pronin Says:

Jane, I read that comment. He just kept digging his grave further and further.


jalep Says:

Was he drunk?


jalep Says:

His statements about women are sexist, Ben. No way getting around it. Not saying the man is evil, he’s simply not fit to make comments about women athletes. He knows it.

He’s out of his element. Go back to 1950.


MMT Says:

I did a google search on the article – here’s what much of what I found boiled down to:

The NYT editorial on the Rothenberg article (http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/double-fault-in-article-on-serena-williams-and-body-image/) was critical of Rothenberg for not challenging the views expressed in the article – but it was an article, not an editorial, and it did what it was supposed to do – reveal a soft underbelly to the commitment of women on the WTA to give everything to be prepared to compete to the hilt.

This editorial at Sports Illustrated (http://www.si.com/tennis/2015/07/14/serena-williams-body-image-wta-tennis) castigated Rothenberg for criticizing Serena’s physique, when he did no such thing. She’s so busy killing the messenger she doesn’t bother to criticize the message: that any woman who is a professional athlete should be concerned with anything other than getting as fit as possible to compete.

Salon.com led with an editorial claiming the NYT was body shaming Serena (http://www.salon.com/2015/07/13/stop_body_shaming_serena_williams_its_time_to_break_this_absurd_and_insulting_habit_once_and_for_all/), more killing of the messenger.

This blog (http://onehotmessalaska.blogspot.com/2015/07/if-new-york-times-wrote-about-tom-brady.html?m=1), which I cited in my piece about the Rothenberg article criticizes the author by attempting to elucidate the hypocrisy of the premise by replacing the tennis players with NFL football players . Ironically, the most ridiculous lines in the parody come, not from the author, but from the women quoted, which is why the criticism of the author was so absurd. All he did was write what they said – what they said should have been criticized, not the author.

There was a lot of derision about the strong is beautiful gibberish, and it has since been thankfully abandoned. The absurd juxtaposition of women in full makeup and evening gowns hitting tennis balls at full throttle (intended to impose a concept of beauty where it doesn’t belong) accidentally did what it should have done in the first place: put the question of beauty on the back burner – it was accidental because it wouldn’t have happened if everyone who thought it was ridiculous played along.

Killing the messenger serves no purpose, and nothing ever gets done or changed by people saying things in exactly the least offensive way and drawing no attention to the topic. Wittingly or otherwise, articles and interviews that elucidate the absurdity of all the ancillary concerns of female athletes are a godsend to female athletes, and the last one that should be criticized is the one shedding the light.


MMT Says:

Okay Ben – I must conceded that the comments may have been ill-formed, but for me, the point is what matters, not how it was made. Perhaps one criticism would be that the attention is drawn away from his concerns to his language, but we bear some responsibility in that. Focusing on our offense, rather than an evaluation of his critique doesn’t help.

The WTA owes the women of professional tennis more than just selling their events to the highest bidder and kitschy themes and tag lines like “strong is beautiful”. Give me a break – who the hell cares if they’re beautiful?

They’ve got these women playing their YEC in a new buzzes place every year, while tacitly begging the ATP to make the O2 a joint event.

They allow on court coaching, making the women appear dependent and ill-prepared, meanwhile the quality of coaching is terrible, when you compare the basic skill sets of the best players on the two tours.

It wasn’t always like that, by the way: I grew up idolizing Martina, Hana Mandlikova, Gabriela Sabatini for their skills alone…well, Sabatini was easy on the eyes, but she still new how to hit a decent approach shot.

I know coaching is not the WTA’s responsibility but it doesn’t help improve the coaching, by making them part of the show. Let them toil in anonymity like they do on the men’s side and earn their cut the old fashioned way.

And when Dubai flipped the world of women’s sports the bird by denying access to Shahar Peer to that premier event, did the WTA make the strongest statement possible and move it to somewhere else? I guarantee somebody’s going to try their luck again one of these days, and they’ll have Stacey McAllister (and all the players) to thank for not standing up for one their own. In fact, as far as I can tell, the only one who made any kind of viable protest was (irony of ironies) ANDY RODDICK.

I’m not falling for this – the WTA has some stuff to answer for, and beating up on a man who was a little loose lipped, is not the answer.


Ben Pronin Says:

MMT, again, I agree. The WTA deserves a ton of criticism.

And it would absolutely serve us better to think about what and why he’s criticizing the WTA rather than being offended. But he could have said it way better and provided a jumping off point into what things need to be tinkered with or improved rather than just blasting them. Because look at what everyone’s discussing instead! Sexism, equal pay, hormones, blah blah blah.

No, Moore is in the wrong here big time. If he had said “the WTA has been riding the coattails of the ATP for a long time now in large part due to Federer and Nadal’s popularity but also because they do themselves no favors in the way they promote the sport.

And look at what Moore continues to say: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CeBAYpYUYAEZB2o.jpg:large

You ask who cares if they’re beautiful and this guy is going on about how they’re physically attractive and competitively attractive. I mean it’s almost funny how much of a clown he is. Have you ever heard of the phrase “competitively attractive” before? I’m going to call you a liar if you say you did because it’s not a thing. The reporter basically bailed him out with that because Moore used the word “attractive”. Not appealing or promising or anything that would describe their games and talent but attractive.

You know what, I take it back, he was being sexist. That is completely sexist. And you can’t brush the sexism away just because it has some merit if you dig a little deeper. If he simply criticized the WTA as an organization, it would be one thing. But he made snide remarks regarding the players themselves.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Draw is out y’all.

Fed vs JMDP 2nd round

Milos vs Rafa R16

Stan vs Nick R16

Rafa in Murray and Wawrinka’s half. Fed in Novak’s.


Glenn Says:

How typical of the far left to immediately seek the destruction of anyone that dares to disagree with them. Why not just ask for the death penalty for Ray Moore? Perhaps all of his family members should be destroyed as well? After all, having a different opinion could be a genetic defect. Why should we allow any dissenting opinions whatsoever?

It’s simply a fact that the men on the tour have to work a lot harder, the depth is far greater and you can’t take any player you face for granted. Also, no one can begin to show the equivalence between the men’s and women’s games in a grand slam. It’s a lot taller mountain to climb to win seven matches playing five sets, compared to the three set matches the women play.

But don’t let facts or fairness bother you at all. Just go ahead and assassinate anyone that disagrees with you; it’s what you’re best at.


RF Says:

The outrage brigade is simply incapable of being objective. I believe they ride on the coattail of political correctness; their soft corners only exist for women committing an error of judgement rather than men. Sad sad sad.


Okiegal Says:

I personally did not take offense to the getting down on their knees part. I truly believe he meant it to mean thank God. I read nothing else into that particular part of his comment. I was
more appalled about attractive and not so attractive. We can’t help how we look and looks has nothing to do with playing tennis. I realize the endorsement stuff too…but still a very tacky statement and hurtful.

Amanda took a stand for her dad……families do that……would expect nothing less. I am sure she was disappointed regarding his comment, but she loves him with all her heart……..


MMT Says:

Okiegal: “We can’t help how we look and looks has nothing to do with playing tennis.”

Agreed, which is why the strong is beautiful thing was just an abject disaster. A mixed message from an organization that should know better – how then can they possibly criticize Moore for saying almost the same thing: that it matters what they look like.

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